October 22, 2010

The Devil, The Hush Now And You

The Hush Now -- Please Mephistopheles

There is an element of camp, ever so slight, in The Hush Now's wonderful, new and Halloween-appropriate jam "Please Mephistopheles (Leave Me Alone)" that reminds us of the songs in "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" or even "101 Dalmations." Singer and guitarist Noel Kelly indulges a grittier, bluesier vocal style throughout, which probably is what we're reacting to. Of course, one need not be overly familiar with Mr. Kelly and his background to know that he would have a number of good reasons to be singing this song in earnest. Which maybe is the trick and the treat: while listeners will likely respond to the seasonal aspect of "Please Mephistopheles (Leave Me Alone)," the fact is that Kelly likely damn well means it when he delivers lyrics like "I know your coming for me some way / Until that day I'll always be on the run."

Even the recording of the track met with some difficulties -- we can't recall exactly what Kelly relayed to us recently, but we think it was something to do with entire tracks from the recording getting zapped and having to be recorded at a new studio on short notice. Musically the song is another interesting turn for the increasingly formidable Boston-based quintet: it leads off with a reggae-esque lope and elsewhere cleverly conceals some terrific guitar effects in the periphery. The song got its live debut at the band's send-off, EP release show we attended early this month [photos]. The Hush Now has just returned from a quick strand of tour dates that took it out to Chicago, and it plays a CMJ showcase early today at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. The Hush Now released its Shiver Me Starships EP Sept. 28, and you can stream the whole shebang right here.

The Hush Now's "Please Mephistopheles (Leave Me Alone)"

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