Hands Like Houses
Emarosa, Devour The Day, The Faim, Arlington
536 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
Hands Like Houses
Riding high from their most successful two-and-a-half years together yet, Hands Like Houses return with -Anon., their most determined release to date.
-Anon. takes the unique sound Hands Like Houses have been cultivating over the past 10 years and injects it with a big dose of fresh, modern rock’n’roll. The most charismatic album of their career, their fourth record marries who Hands Like Houses are as individuals into an assured yet fun collection of songs that begs the audience to take a deeper listen.
Recorded at Steakhouse Studios in Hollywood with producer Colin Brittain (5 Seconds of Summer / All Time Low), conceptually “-Anon.” is a statement on the duality of the creative process - the idea that music can be shared or heard in passing and can still resonate with people even when the artist is unknown to the listener..
“I think our strength is in parallel values of art. There’s what we create, and there’s us,” says Frontman Trenton Woodley. “When people know who we are, it adds an extra layer of meaning and significance to the concept, but when they don’t, the song still stands up on its own.”
Like an anonymous poem with no author, it doesn’t matter who created it, as its strength lies in its relatability. -Anon. is Hands Like Houses giving a lyrical voice to other people’s stories and musically creating atmosphere and emotions within the listener to be shared for years to come.
“Separating from my sense of self to create something that could stand on its own was the thought process that planted the seed for '-Anon.'s title and concept explains Woodley. “I still take my role as a storyteller seriously, so each day we wrote, we sat down and talked about different people, different experiences, different ideas - then we chose one of those threads and followed it down the rabbit hole.”
“We had the most time off the road since writing our first album” adds guitarist Alex Pearson, “so we didn’t feel restricted or pressured to make the album sound a certain way. We had time to experiment and expand on what did and didn’t define us as a band and create something unique.’
The band felt a freedom of responsibility that allowed each song to have its own atmosphere and story - there’s fatalism and optimism, self-reflection, realism and fantasy, politics and personal journey. In the context of the album, each is its own anonymous piece to relate to - each is built around a shared human experience or perspective.
Born and bred in Canberra, Australia, Hands Like Houses – comprising of Trenton Woodley (vocals), Alexander Pearson (guitar), Joel Tyrrell (bass), Matthew Parkitny (drums) & Matt “Coops” Cooper (guitar) – are one of Australia’s biggest rock exports. The band has sold an impressive 100k+ record sales worldwide, boasts 85 million combined worldwide streams, and embarked on 15 full US and nine UK tours on the books, and three back-to-back sold out headline tours across Australia. Their critically acclaimed third album Dissonants impressively debuted in the Top 10 Billboard Independent Albums, Hard Music Albums, Alternative Albums and Rock Albums charts and #7 on the ARIA Chart (Australia).
During their decade together, the band have spent their time thrilling epic crowds at home, playing packed arenas with Bring Me The Horizon and A Day To Remember, and as one of the headliners on UNIFY 2018. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Hands Like Houses have played to tens of thousands of people across Download Festival, Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion and Northern Invasion, alongside legendary acts The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Alice Cooper and Disturbed.
No band wants to write the same album over and over again. And for Emarosa, that means turning the page and and introducing the world to the band’s newest chapter—the one that best represents where they’ve grown and where they’re going. “We’re at that point where we’ve realized that there’s no consequences for making whatever record we want to make,” frontman Bradley Walden explains. “We started writing, and it felt like the book was being thrown out the window. There are no rules.”
Out February 8 on Hopeless Records, Peach Club makes the most of Emarosa’s eclectic influences, marking their sixth studio effort as their most pop-laden and personal album to date. The 11-track record throws it back to the massive pop hits of the ‘80s and the powerhouse artists that ruled ‘90s R&B, which also happens to be where Walden looked to as he penned the album. “I think a lot of it was based on what we were raised listening to,” Walden says. “My mother raised me on female pop and R&B. It was Paula Abdul. It was Michael Jackson. It was Janet. It was even some Shania Twain.” These influences ring true with the opening track and first single, “Givin’ Up,” The 1975-vibing song which revels in glitter-soaked guitar and bursts with orchestral elements that introduces—and cements—the band’s standing in the alt-pop world.
The affecting and undeniably arresting “Don’t Cry” was the first song Emarosa wrote with producer Courtney Ballard (5 Seconds of Summer, Jessie J). Ballard, whose background is rooted in pop, helped guide the band as they united their alt-rock past with their pop-leaning present. “I knew after writing the first song that he’s the one that I wanted to do the record,” Walden says. “He understood where we wanted to go and and where we were ready to depart from.” His pop touch, combined with Walden’s powerhouse vocals and potent songwriting, result in anthem-ready hits that are expertly weaved throughout the record. “So Bad” bursts with boppy bass lines and dance-ready beats, and “Cautious” combines the band’s hooky take on rock and Fickle Friends’ exuberant synth pop.
Even more than the bold sonic shift, though, is the new lyrical perspective Emarosa embraces on Peach Club. While there’s no denying that tracks like “Comfortable” still have shades of heartbreak guised under beautiful melodies, Walden wanted to give this record a change in tone. “I was tired of writing sad records. That’s what I used as my way of dealing with things,” Walden says. “While this record is a lot of realizations and accepting faults, it’s also not all sad. You don’t have to be miserable.” The record’s light-hearted notes shine through with tracks like the stripped-down “xo,” the love song that taps into Walden’s stunning vocals, along with the record’s hidden gem “IW2DWY,” which takes a dreamy, lullaby-esque approach to experimental electro-pop.
As a body of work, Peach Club takes full advantage of Emarosa’s biggest strengths. The band’s familiar and fervent alt-rock energy flows through tracks like the riffy “Help You Out” and explosive “Hell Of It.” And the soul-bearing “Get Back Up” might just be one of the band’s most powerful tracks to date. “That’s my favorite song on the record,” Walden says. “I wrote that song for my mom. There was always something that took us down a peg. But if she hadn’t gotten back up every single time we got knocked down, I wouldn’t be where I am. And I wouldn’t be the person I am.” The track combats the sadness with a sonic message that lifts listeners up, invoking hope rather than sadness.
And that’s the beauty of Peach Club. At its core, the record represents more than just a sonic shift and sincere step forward. It represents the fact that Emarosa is exactly where they want to be, and it embodies the band’s growing family listeners. It’s a brave record that sees Emarosa showing their fans where they’re going and inviting them to join them on the journey.
Devour The Day
Devour the Day is a hard rock band based out of Memphis, Tennessee, founded by Joey Chicago and Blake Allison after their former band, Egypt Central, had gone inactive.
Coming together in 2012, the pair quickly set to work on their debut, crafting a heavy sound for themselves that feels reminiscent of their former band.