Houndmouth – Little Neon Limelight

Houndmouth is a folkish/rockish/americana band from New Albany, Indiana. It’s hard to peg down a genre for them, but they often sound like a clever, ramshackle combination of The Band and The Felice Brothers. However, in this particular simile, the part of Richard Manuel or James Felice is played by a petite, non-bearded female keyboardist named Katie Toupin. The rest of the band is comprised of bassist Zak Appleby, drummer Shane Cody, and guitarist Matt Myers.

Appleby has a big, booming kind of voice that probably doesn’t require a microphone most of the time and could probably do a heck of an Elvis impression if it wanted to. Cody provides solid, no-nonsense drumming and backing vocals. Myers is an impressive guitarist who often performs with what we here in Indiana call a “shit-eating grin”. If you don’t use expression descriptors that involve manure in your part of the world (and let’s hope you don’t), then you might simply call it coy or mischievous.

They all seem to have a great time onstage together, and they clearly don’t take themselves too seriously. You should catch a live show if they come to your area. They’re currently playing small-to-medium sized venues, but with any luck, that will change pretty quickly after their stops at Forecastle and Bonnaroo this summer, as well as a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom.

The band’s sophomore album, Little Neon Limelight, was released last week, and it’s already deservedly on some critics’ shortlist for Album of the Year. It’s full of foot-stomping sing-alongs, four-part harmonies, a few plaintive ballads, and a whole lot of loose, rollicking, unabashed fun. All four members contribute vocals, and all take a turn at lead vocals throughout the album.

Below are three songs from the new album, a couple cover songs, and an acoustic performance of two songs from their first album.

You can preview and purchase Houndmouth’s new album, Little Neon Limelight, right here; and while you’re at it, you can buy their debut album, From the Hills Below the City, right here.

RIYL: The Last Waltz, The Felice Brothers, good music

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