A teaser for his forthcoming album, Hobler’s new single “Got a Ways to Go” is a perfect example of his ability to add depth and intrigue to innocent sounding songs. In the chorus, he sings “Yeah I’ve got a ways to go / But I’m going somewhere”, which initially sounds like a feel-good, self-assured expression of jaunting through life. When hauntingly sweet Beach Boys-style harmonies start coming in, however, dark tones add to the track’s Tin Pan Alley hand-clapping shuffle. Gradually, the lyrics reveal a narrator who’s not only upbeat but also “alone and talking to [himself]” and wondering if “perhaps it’s judgement day and [he’s] been left behind”. When the song culminates in the foreboding image of a skeleton, it becomes clear that Hobler’s combination of conflicted lyrics and lush soundscapes have a powerful ability to elicit complicated feelings while still making listeners dance and sing along.
Produced by Andy Baldwin (Bjork, Saint Lucia, Wakey! Wakey!), Hobler’s new collection of songs will be released one track per month over the course of 2014 to build anticipation for his debut full-length album.