Hooray For Earth

Isolation Rituals

Jan 31, 2012 Photography by Tommy Kearns Issue #39 - Best of 2011
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While Hooray for Earth’s superb debut LP True Loves has frequently been hailed as the synth-pop record MGMT’s oft-maligned sophomore effort Congratulations should have been, Hooray for Earth’s Brooklyn-via-Boston frontman, Noel Heroux, is befuddled by the connection.

“Everyone thinks that all the instruments on the record are synths, but that’s funny to me because there are tons of pitch-shifted vocals and guitars that are all fucked up to the point that they don’t sound like what they really are,” he says. “But there are obvious things at times, like a Juno, and people hear that and they kind of assume that everything else is a synth also.”

The record also encompasses a wider stylistic breadth than a monomaniacal synth album, from the claustrophobic dread of opener “Realize It’s Not the Sun,” with its stunning blend of jagged guitar stabs and off-kilter rhythmic oscillations; to the Spector-esque, dusty analog pop ditty, “Last Minute”; to the riotous, ’80s-inflected sax-driven rave-up, “Bring Us Closer Together.”

Sonically and thematically disparate, True Loves seemingly lacks the unifying motif that was prevalent on the act’s 2010 Momo EP, which Heroux once described to Under the Radar as a set of songs about “people coming together and feeling togetherness and extreme anxiety at the same time.” With True Loves, Heroux sees more abstract connections.

True Loves is sort of about just being shut down and creating all these things alone,” he says. “As I was recording I just lay into whatever song I was working on, and I ended up walking out on the rest of the record while I was in the world of any one song. There’s a common thread of being lost and confused a lot. I hit a lot of bases, but maybe the bases were farther apart than I thought they’d be,” he laughs.

Heroux recently married his longtime girlfriend, Jessica Zambri, who co-fronts the NYC electro act Zambri along with her sister, Cristi Jo. The couple share a musical relationship, as both Jessica and Cristi Jo guest on the True Loves track “No Love,” and the sisters often join Hooray for Earth at live shows to lend backing vocals. Yet he’s adamant that they each have singular artistic visions.

“We bounce stuff off each other, and it’s a cool thing,” he says. “But we don’t want to overlap too much, because the way it is for females in music is difficult. Everyone wants to assume that the women aren’t doing everything, and it’s frustrating because I watch Jess and Cristi do everything from start to finish, and they have such a specific thing they’re doing. You just see a lot of female artists not getting credit where it’s due.”

Although True Loves was just released in June, Heroux is already keen to get to work on a follow-up, having begun the songwriting process. He plans to collaborate with a yet-to-be-decided co-producer, a new wrinkle after self-producing all of his work to date.

“I’m really excited to do the next thing,” he enthuses. “It’ll be cool to have someone to bring me back to reality when I get lost. I thought True Loves was gonna be my big huge album that I finally got to make, but now I’ve realized it’s just leading up to this next thing, so I’m really psyched for that.” (www.hoorayforearth.net)

 



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