The Portland, OR-based trio of Hustle and Drone was formed when keyboardist Ryan Neighbors left indie rock sensation, Portugal the Man to pursue his own creative endeavors. He enlisted the assistance of long-time friend Kirk Ohnstand and the duo immediately went to the studio to write and record the material that wound up on their debut, self-titled EP which was released back in 2012. Last summer, Ohnstand left the group but Andy Black and Ryan Moore were enlisted to flesh out the band’s sounds they were finishing the material on the band’s debut full-length Holyland, which Red Bull Sound Select will be releasing on September 2.
Holyland’s first single is the catchily anthemic “The Glow” consisted of huge, room-rattling boom bap/808-styled drums, layers upon layers of buzzing synths and devastatingly earnest vocals. The first time i heard the song I immediately pictured a large room of sweaty, enthralled kids shouting the lyrics along with (and at) the band. And although that particular song is a summery party jam, it actually is much deeper as it manages to capture the boundless optimism and uncertainty of someone in their 20s. The album’s latest single “Evaporated” offers a much different sound — it’s a certified club banger consisting of sinuous synths, propulsive bass and vocals sung in a seductive falsetto; in some way, it follows the LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, electro pop mold in the sense that it’s danceable but it’s certainly not frivolous as it comes from a very sincere place.