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Formed in Boston in 2006 and now based out of New York City, Hooray for Earth are exponents of a an alternately laid-back and hard-charging but always agreeable synthesizer-driven indie-rock. Back in December, the quartet released their debut EP, Momo, as part of the eMusic Selects program, designed to bring more attention to unsigned up-and-comers. Despite the fact that he looks like he just stepped out of a Seattle coffee shop circa 1992, lead vocalist and songwriter Noel Heroux has a reputation for being a dogged perfectionist; this hybridization of slacker and stickler really comes through on the EP’s five finely crafted tracks.
“Surrounded By Your Friends” kicks things off marvelously, feeling like a collision between The Magnetic Fields’ effortless delivery and cheap synths and The Shins’ Beach Boys-inspired vocal harmonies. A lazy tambourine knocks out the tempo while what feels like an increasing number of keyboards begin to circle each other in a buzzing boxing match. The interplay between Heroux’s disaffected cool and the formal structure of his bandmates’ harmonizing creates an excellent dynamic in what is arguably the song’s most distinguishing element. It would be misleading to peg “Surrounded By Your Friends” as a ‘happy’ song, but there is an undeniable lift to the melodies and a kick beat’s proverbial step.
While Hooray for Earth are certainly not sonic cartographers charting undiscovered lands, they do make for a memorable listen. They’re playing by the rules, not breaking them, but they know the game well enough to create hooks that linger on long after their music stops.