Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The stroll that we take here, with the Brooklyn, New York band Howth, is one that leads us into the most intimate of their corners. We're quickly ushered into those spaces where they keep their secrets, which happen to be right across the hall from where they keep all of their fears. Their secrets are, in ways, like their wishes at times, and at others, they're just secrets, but they all get mixed up in the same pen and then it gets really interesting. By interesting, we mean that we can feel them staring and we think we can hear footsteps, something tracking us as if we were a wandering snack.
These songs that you're listening to, or are about to listen to, are documents of what happens when there's nothing standing between us and something like an immeasurable surplus of possibilities. It's the thought that there might be time unending, that there could be people who never leave you or that you could be surrounded by the most incredible views, that never wash away. It could be "waters crashing, blue and white" or it could be the thought of there being a little piece of horrible reality built in there, where the immeasurability extends to nothingness as well, when death is concerned.
Howth lead singer Carl Creighton sings, "Will there be anything/No there will not when I'm dead," and you can almost hear his head shaking as the concept is roundly eliminated as foolhardy. There's nothing for afterward. It's just gone. There's a limit implied there, and elsewhere, he's able to give us a story about an imaginary friend, who just so happens to be better than any of the real ones that he has, though it's easy to question whether this friend is made up. He sings, "I kiss the flesh behind your ear and it's so sincere," and it's here where we feel thoroughly intrigued. It's here where the sweet flesh meets loving lips, where Creighton, vocalist/keyboardist Aviva Stampfer, guitarist Blake Luley and bassist Neil Acharya sound like grizzly bears pawing at a hug, at a strange love, covered in honey, something we never suspected we'd see, but are happy to be seeing.