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Hooray for Earth

The Beauty of the Ride

Feb 09, 2011 Issue #32 - Summer 2010 - Wasted on the Youth Bookmark and Share

This article originally appeared in our Summer 2010 issue.

While most bands relocate to Brooklyn in the hopes of inking a record contract and making it big, Noel Heroux, frontman of synth pop outfit Hooray for Earth, had a decidedly different impetus for his move from Boston, that of being closer to his girlfriend. “I wanted to be near Jessica,” Heroux says with obvious earnestness. “Being with the person I really want to be with definitely helps in general.

He also found some surprising benefits to residing in the notoriously frenzied borough, one that seems to have a band extant on every block. “Well, I just felt better about being there, not the bustling Brooklyn scene, but just being somewhere where so much is going on that you just can’t take yourself seriously. With so many bands, so much art, it makes me feel like I’m not gonna be lost in myself. In Boston, it’s easy to get lost in yourself, and not always in a good way,” he laughs.

According to his bandmate Chris Principe, the notoriously curmudgeon-like Heroux has lightened up considerably as a result of being close to the woman he loves, which often comes through in the exuberance of the band’s fine EP Momo.

“I guess I’m worst at analyzing my own music [laughs], but the most obvious thing to me is a theme of people coming together and feeling togetherness and extreme anxiety at the same time,” says Heroux. “That’s kind of what’s going on right now for me. It wasn’t an intentional thing when I started, but when we were mixing, I realized there was a wall of guitars in one song, a wall of synths in another, just a lot of different things sonically. But the overall theme is one of going up and the down in the same rollercoaster.”

His comparison is valid. The tracks veer wildly stylistically across the course of the six-song EP, from the blithe synth vigor on the visceral one-two opening punch of “Surrounded by Your Friends” and “Comfortable, Comparable,” to the cloistered dread of “Scaling,” which gives way to the resilient denouement of closing tracks “Form” and “Rolling/Nectarine.”

“I think of it as the first two songs getting you going, the third song slows you down, and the fourth song’s where you start drowning,” Heroux explains with a laugh. “And the closing two are like being rescued, sort of a celebration.”

The band, coming off a high-profile tour with Surfer Blood and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, plan to continue work on a new LP back in Brooklyn. “I’d say that seven or eight of the songs are done, and a few more will pop up here and there,” says Heroux. “I can’t put a finger on it stylistically, because it’s still changing, just demos right now. But it’s definitely got a sound. Even if I try, I can’t avoid melody, so it just ends up being pop. I can’t explain it. There will be some easy first listen songs, and some more challenging songs. Even if it’s a pop song, I like you to be able to think about it.” (www.myspace.com/hooray4earth)


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