A year in, it feels like a bit of a cliche to say that the pandemic has affected all of us in individual ways, but, hey, that’s where we are. Weddings have been modified or put off, careers have been brought to an unceremonious end, and major adolescent milestones have been taken away.
For the music industry, this has meant loss of income, canceled tours, and rescheduled release dates. All of these have been true for Austin’s Hovvdy, who have had the vinyl pressing of their upcoming 7″ delayed several times due to distributer production delays. After a long, patient wait, the 7′” (featuring “Runner” b/w “I’m Sorry”) is now available for pre-order — just in time for Bandcamp Friday!
Taylor Wallace caught-up with Hovvdy’s Charlie Martin and Will Taylor to see how COVID-19 has impacted their release and the process of recording new material.
Will Taylor and Charlie Martin of Hovvdy perform “Runner” for a KUTX Social Distancing Pop-Up
Before COVID, you were playing live shows pretty regularly. What was the last show you played? Did you have any major or particular shows scheduled that you were excited about that were canceled as a result of COVID?
Charlie Martin: It feels like 5 years ago, but I think our last show was an in-store at Waterloo Records. that was a fun one 🙂 and yes, we had a big tour that was canceled. What a bummer!
Y’all are no strangers to vinyl pressings, 12” or 7”. I know the process can be arduous and tedious without a pandemic, but COVID has clearly created even more obstacles. For those of us with zero experience with this process, can you give some insight into what the typical process and timeline are like vs. the experience getting this new 7” pressed?
CM: Ya it normally takes about 4 months, which always feels like a long time; but with the pandemic, it’s more like 6-8 months? We’re just rolling with it, and very thankful for our patient fans!
Will Taylor and Charlie Martin of Hovvdy perform “I’m Sorry” for a KUTX Social Distancing Pop-Up
CM: Yes! I’d say the majority of the record was at least finished (writing-wise) in 2020. For me, the content of the record doesn’t feel at all tied to the pandemic; but the process of recording it was definitely a wild and honestly terrifying experience. We were as safe as possible — just me, Will, and Sarlo in a tiny garage studio in LA — but with the traveling etc., there was always that hurdle of fear to get over before we could get to work.
I feel like using music as an outlet to pen feelings and experiences concerning the pandemic is nearly inescapable. Have y’all found this to be true for yourselves?
CM: I’d say my main goal as an artist is to make people feel better. so I’ve never felt more compelled to really dig deep and do my best. like I said before, there aren’t any covid songs on the album, haha. but it’s definitely the most vulnerable and inspired record we’ve made, and I’d be lying if I said the pandemic wasn’t a factor.
Do you find that for yourselves, a year in, writing music with the tone and theme is/might still be cathartic?
CM: I’m not sure I understand the question, but for me, writing songs is always cathartic. and lately, the need for catharsis is certainly stronger than normal for all of us I think.
Bringing this full-circle, as live music is sort of returning, do y’all have any shows coming-up? Are y’all comfortable playing live again including outdoor, spread-out venues like Sagebrush or Far Out Lounge?
CM: Yes, lots on the books for 2022! and maybe some stuff this year, we’ll see! i think once we’re all vaccinated we’ll be 100% comfortable getting back out there! can’t wait 🙂
WT: We’ll be back as soon as it makes sense. It’ll be fun!
– Taylor Wallace-Riegel, KUTX Morning Host
KUTX Social Distancing Pop-Up Credits:
Songs: “Runner” and “I’m Sorry”
Shot in South Austin, TX in October 2020
Musicians: Will Taylor; vocals, guitar; Charlie Martin; vocals, guitar;
Cameras; Michael Minasi; Edit: Michael Minasi;
Audio: Jake Perlman;
Producer: Deidre Gott