We only recently turned on to Kent, England-based indie rock foursome It Hugs Back, after hearing their excellent single "Work Day" on MIT's WMBR radio station late in the fall. The combo's proper full-length debut Inside Your Guitar will be released April 6 in the UK (April 7 in the U.S.) on the esteemed 4AD label, although as of last week It Hugs Back had inventory on-hand and was apparently selling the disc at shows. After picking up the band's singles compilation The Record Room: First Four Singles at EMusic we quickly became big fans, so we were pleased when It Hugs Back singer and guitarist Matthew Simms agreed to show us around The Record Room, the garage space in which the quartet both writes and records and whose name became the title to the singles collection.
CC: Why do you use this space?
MS: This is in my garage... it's perfect. It's always available and I have the shortest commute to work imaginable -- well, when we're recording or rehearsing anyway.
CC: Explain how an idiosyncracy or quirk of this space or a former practice space has affected a song, or even your overall sound.
MS: Being pretty small for all four of us, we have slowly worked out over time how we all best fit in... and still all able to hear everything. We have recorded everything we've released so far in this one room, so I think it has affected every recording... it definitely has a sound!
CC: You walk into your space. What's the first thing you smell? Why?
MS: On a good day... maybe the scent of nice fresh coffee... on a bad day... the not-so-fresh smell of hard work!
CC: Each of your now five singles has a bit of a different flavor: "Other Cars Go," for example, is droney, understated and in places discordant, while the newest one, "Work Day," has a beautiful and muted, '70s AM pop non-attack. You've presumably finished your forthcoming full-length Inside Your Guitar. Does it hang together as a complete, album-length work, or would you say the collection is as varied as your singles have been to date?
MS: The idea was definitely to make the singles as varied as possible and take advantage of the fact that it's only two songs that have to sit well together... while still aiming to sound like us! So for the album we wanted to do the opposite, and take advantage of putting together ten or so songs that run from start to end... We did have a tough time at first working it into a shape that was a coherent listen from start to end rather than a group of singles, especially trying to include all the band's favorites, but we got there in the end!
CC: What do the next six months look like for your band?
MS: The next six months revolve around the record release in April... touring and more touring... everywhere and anywhere!
It Hugs Back --
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[buy It Hugs Back music from EMusic right here]
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Previous Show Us Yours episodes:
Shapes And Sizes | Dirty On Purpose | Relay | Mobius Band | Frightened Rabbit | Assembly Now | Meneguar | Okay Paddy | Charmparticles | Calories | Sun Airway