The chances of finding someone to love in this crazy world are about a billion to one. But the chances of finding someone to play music with in Austin, Texas? Put it this way – you can’t swing a sunburst lefty Tele Deluxe custom job without hitting a multi-instrumentalist in the Lone Star State’s music Mecca. Jordan Raines and Virginia Haladyna found both in each other. That bond led to forming Happy, Hollow, which they quickly rounded out with Will Howell on Drums and Rodrigo Cortes on Bass. Together, they’re cranking out the best kind of warm, heartfelt alt-rock.
Happy, Hollow’s first single is “Flowers,” the title track off their debut record, and it’s a love song. It’s a song about being in love- and that’s it. No blindside betrayal, no dark twist, no anguish, isolation, and attendant madness. Ugh, FINALLY. Crawl out of the trembling fetal position you’ve been in for a few days now, and let this one in, like really let it in. Haladyna’s crystalline, blue-sky vocals recall the Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler or Belly’s Tanya Donelly, and the guys’ note-perfect beats, chords, and melodies complete this infectiously earnest burst of summertime rock. Their tight, driving clean tones culminate in some full-band backups and a buzzy solo, and all is right with the world. Seriously, it’s like a goddamn hug for your ears.
The video for “Flowers,” directed by Raines, is just as pretension-free and euphoric as the song itself. The band performs in interchanging pastel and primary colored outfits that pop against a pure white background. While Haladyna lays on floral beds in dreamy, technicolor close-ups, the boys take turns tending to dimestore decoration plants on a patch of astroturf. The band soon begins swatting the glitter guts out of piñatas, as petals and balloons begin to carpet the floor, the drums, and the mic stands. Pretty striking are the scenes featuring the guys, each one alone, in an immediately familiar, all-at-once intoxicating and terrifying spot. Completely vulnerable, each clutches the most modest of bouquets and, with only their eyes, make the simplest, oldest, most difficult request in human history – to be loved back. Spoiler alert: it works.
Happy, Hollow holds romantic love up as a perfect ideal, with a song that’s damn near perfect. They’re fully prepared to bring their earnest guitar pop to Austin and beyond, and it can’t happen quickly enough.