Hush Hush was launched by KEXP DJ Alex Ruder in May of 2012. The young label has really impressed me by its release of some beautiful downtempo compositions, pulling artists like KID SMPL and Placeholder (both of whom you should look into). Their mission statement illustrates a focus on “curating an emotional and introspective sound that's free of specific genre boundaries and ideal for headphone sessions, late-night travels, intimate encounters, and contemplative rides on public transportation.” Secret Angles falls well within the boundaries of such a concept, so it was a logical choice for Hush Hush’s first physical release.
This is the third LP from Seattle’s Johnny Goss and Ola Hungerford, a duo I had little knowledge of before this record. Speaking candidly, I was relatively unimpressed upon first listen. I very much prefer some of the other content I’ve been exposed to from the label, which caused me to place this record aside for a number of weeks. Coming back to it, I can see I may have been too quick to judge, as Secret Angles definitely has some qualities some may find desirable. First of all, the vocals are beautiful, evoking Beach House vibes from start to finish. The production is consistent and interesting to say the least, but a little dry at times. Drums over synth; the makings for a fairly generic sound in comparison to the complex work of other artists of this genre. Minimalist, but enticing.
Although I was less than enthusiastic about it, Secret Angles is surely just a stepping stone, and I’ll definitely being looking out for what Cock & Swan does next.