Monqui Presents: Hibou, Sloucher
Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 9pm
- $12 advance / $15 day of show
Peter Michel is a 24 year old Seattleite who creates music under the alias Hibou. Michel toured North America and Europe as the drummer of Captured Tracks’ band Craft Spells. After a year of non-stop touring, he felt his life with the band had run its course, and that it was time to begin creating his own music. In January of 2013, he released 2 songs, and soon after received positive press recognition. In June of 2013, Dunes EP was released, which was featured by NME, Pitchfork, Line of Best Fit, Noisey, and more. Hibou released his debut self titled LP on Barsuk Records in September of 2015.
The idea of "home" plays a prominent theme in the short history of Peter Michel and his Seattle-based band Hibou. "I actually recorded half of the new album at my parents' home," says the 24-year-old about Hibou's debut full-length release. "There are moments on the record where you hear my dad cooking or hammering," he adds. The self-titled debut LP features 11 songs (including four new versions of songs previously released as the Dunes EP) and is a lush, driving mix of '80s inspired pop, fueled by twisting reverbed-out guitar melodies, elegant arrangements, and a love of soda, summertime nostalgia, and trips to Peter's inspirational point in Seattle: the fittingly-named Discovery Park. "I've written a ton of the melodies for the band there," he says. "It's my favorite place in the world."
Like a lot of bands, Sloucher started off as a relatively unambitious project. After writing a batch of songs on acoustic guitar to sate his downtime as drummer in a couple of revered West Coast bands―Cayucas and Hibou―Jay Clancy decided to better harness the melodic thrusts bouncing around his head, eventually recruiting guitarist Kyle Musselwhite (The Globes), bassist Lance Umble (Bod, Telekinesis), and drummer Jack Hamrick to solidify Sloucher as a quartet.
“The record really started as me testing myself to see if I could actually complete an entire record of my own songs,” explains Clancy, who recorded most of the EP himself. “I had written a batch of songs that were all basically little snapshots of my life from the past few years, and wanted to get involved in a recording project.”
Certainty, the resultant collection of seven songs, deals in the kind of melodic interplay typically found in the more voluminous aural panoramas of Elliott Smith and similarly alchemic songwriters. Clancy’s heart-wrenching diatribes include the moody haze of “Dreams,” a tune resplendent in subtle time changes and plodding pocket-rhythms while Clancy’s voice assumes an apparition’s timbre to fit the vibe of the moony tune.
Perhaps in defiance of the band’s slacker-y moniker (I have questionable posture,” jokes Clancy), songs like “Certainty” excel in the pop-perfect guitar rock of forbearers like Evan Dando and Jeff Tweedy, with Clancy’s thinly veiled affinity for twangy country riffs rearing its pretty head. The symbiosis of the band's talents is most evident here, with Musselwhite’s lead giving wings to a saccharine-sweet love song bursting with mildly distorted guitars, providing a fitting Northwest attitude even when the sentiment is a tad gooey.