Hot Little Hands is moments away from launching their three-years-in-the-making debut album. So, are their palms sweaty? A quick check reveals some clamminess, but nothing to write Lady Mitchum about. To be fair, it could be the Siberian conditions inside their sprawling, ramshackle warehouse on this bitter Melbourne morning. “Being cold makes us work a little bit harder” says drummer and optimist James Harvey.“It also lets us dress up like we’re homeless, which is great” adds front man Tim who has a penchant for coats and is James’ older brother.
Much of the album was recorded here on a basic pro-tools setup with some impressive hand-me-down gear. However, from the tracks I’ve heard so far, the record sounds anything but home made. Soaring five part harmonies, haunting synths, an assuredly sexy lead vocal, not to mention a sparkling trumpet fanfare, it’s not what you’d expect from a first release.“Obviously we had an idea of what we wanted it to sound like”, says Tim. “Luckily we had the right people in place to help us get there.”Along with the other HLH members Raph Hammond, Royce Akers, and former member China Harvey (yes, another sibling) Tim is referring to Aria winning producer Franc Tetaz as well as a who’s who of Melbourne indie musicians. Architecture in Helsinki’s Gus Franklin played on the record, as did James Wilkinson from High Pass Filter and guitar tapping maestro Cornel (aka Qua).
Moving between sleek pop, garagy disco and psychedelic blues, with a little blue eyed soul thrown in, it’s an ambitious album. The influences are present (Prince is here, as is Robert Palmer, The Beatles, Devo, Blondie, Pink Floyd etc) but the songs feel modern, the sound, unique.“I think what you want is for your influences to like you” says Tim. “Imagine being Arcade Fire and having David Bowie and David Byrne perform with you. That has to be the goal right? At the end of the day, you want your audience to like you, your competition to respect you and your heroes to think, hey, these guys are pretty good.”If their debut is anything to go by, it may only be a matter of time before they do.
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