Husky – Forever So
“Writing … You shouldn’t notice the music or the art of it; you’re just transported to another place”. Those are the words of Husky Gawenda, front man of Australian indie band Husky. Based upon the evidence of their debut album, Forever So, he is spot on.
Winners of Australia’s Triple J Unearthed (the Oceanic equivalent of BBC Music’s introducing), the band are the first Aussie’s to sign with legendary Seattle label Sub-Pop. Former homes of grunge giants Nirvana, and New Zealand’s fourth most popular music parody duo, Flight of the Conchords, Husky has some illustrious shoulders to rub with, and a record labels reputation to live up to.
The thirteen track piece clocks in at 47:26, allowing time for the music to build and breathe. Immediately, Husky’s sound is realised. Thematically nostalgic, yet one of reflection than that of bemoaning, the melancholic feel of the album creates for an atmosphere created through acoustic guitars, soft drumming, and lush pianos. Gawenda’s voice is beautifully distinct, which only adds to this feeling.
Whilst album can be terribly engrossing at points, it can become almost dull in others. The Woods is an attempt at adding unnecessary pop sensibilities to a sound that really doesn’t need them. Husky are at their best when they are doing their own thing, something evident on other pieces. It is not until the halfway mark of the LP that their potential. Hunter and Animals and Freaks both are fantastically written, painting pictures for the listeners mind with ease.
Yet the true beauty of the album is not fully realized until the final two tracks. Don’t Tell Your Mother is an innocent tale of running away but with defiance and individuality. “All the people thought they knew me very well, Josephine”. The stand out song belongs however, to Farewell (In 3 Parts). The track showcases the best of Husky’s vocals, instruments, and lyrics; “Things will be much better come April or May… Time can be so cruel, but it’ll be my friend someday. There’s a lot we didn’t say, wasn’t there? Josephine?” Effortlessly simple, and deeply personal. Whoever Josephine is, we should all say thanks to her, for those two songs alone.
Husky have found a different way of presenting alternative, acoustic indie music, and for that alone this album is commendable. Instead of losing themselves in a sea of senseless guitar picking and meaningless hooks, the bands focus on slow building allows you to really lose yourself. Perhaps trimming a few tracks from the album could have made this a brilliant album, but nonetheless it’s a solid effort. Expect big things to come from this band.