Alternative Pop


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For two albums Parisian quartet Hoorsees received heaps of praise for their 90’s inspired sardonic, guitar pop steeped in equal parts melancholy and nostalgia. Returning with their third LP, Big, to be released January 2024 through Howlin’ Banana and Kanine Records, Hoorsees channels less of Pavement or Weezer and instead, embraces their French roots.

Evolving into a hyper pop sound, they don’t manage to completely shake out their adoration of American sounds, though this time they lean into the riffs of the Strokes “Is This It”. For the first time, Alex Delamard (voice/guitar) shares lead vocal duties with Zoe Gilbert (vocals/bass), with both continuing to be backed by Thomas Gachod (guitar/keyboard) and Nicolas Coste (drums).

Whereas their self-titled debut and 2022’s “A Superior Athlete” were made expeditiously, “Big” is, by contrast, a long-term project taking place over 3 years. For the recording of the instrumental parts, the band isolated in a house in the middle of the Ardeche region of France and turned it into a homemade studio. Unlike the mandatory required isolation of the past couple of years, which served to heighten the slacker pop vibe of their first records, this self-imposed isolation was for focus, and for harnessing the buzzing return and the distractions of outside world.  

They collaborated the following months with producer Joseph Signoret (Keep Dancing Inc) who infused energy into their live takes and added electronic accents inspired by the golden years of French Touch and the great Philippe Zdar at Motorbass Studio. For mixing, the band called on Maxime Maurel from Studio Noir (home to artists such as Jeanne Added and Bagarre) working on the production, which resulted in the 9 tracks that make up “Big“.

While Hoorsees transforms into a fresh, new sound, their surreal and absurd lyrics still abound, though this time tackling social themes (No Vacation, Second Class, Presidential Holiday), ironizing on their extremely marketed society where appearances and consumerism take precedence over almost everything. 

Often marked by frustration and boredom (Charming City Life), “Big” appears fatalistic about our future prospects (New Career), deliberately giving way to long instrumental passages where the simplicity of the motifs blends with the richness of the production (Movie’s Architecture), as if the words had run out, sorry not to be able to carry the conversation through. 

With “Big“, Hoorsees has digested their influences and delivers their most singular and ambitious album so far, reconciling the indie pop of the most erudite record shops with the top 50.

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Marijn Westerlaken



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