STREAM: Kris Hermstad – “Empty Hours”

Kris Hermstad

It wasn’t that long ago when the dream pop duo of Kris Hermstad and Derek Burdette, a.k.a. New Animal, were releasing prodigious amounts of music of remarkably consistent, sometimes ecstatic, quality. So it really shouldn’t be a surprise to hear both artists casually toss off fantastic indie pop nuggets on their respective SoundCloud pages as if it were no big deal. Between the two of them I would probably have enough content to fill up this blog for a week.

Hermstad in particular has been busy as of late, having posted four new tracks in the course of the last twenty days. “Empty Hours” is the latest of these efforts and, of all things, it’s a step toward psych-rock storminess complete with probing keys and fuzz guitar flurries. It’s a little grittier and more rhythm-oriented than perhaps we’re used to from New Animal, but holding it all together is the familiar sun-dappled, breezy pop core that washes over you in blissed-out waves. You can’t help but wonder (and hope) that the two are experimenting individually with new sounds and working out the kinks for an upcoming New Animal record, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, make sure to appreciate what Hermstad and Burdette are doing separately because both of them sound damn fine on their own.

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