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Honey Clouds


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Honey Clouds is basically the new incarnation of Harpswell Sound, the acclaimed alt-country outfit formed in 2002 by singer-guitarists Trey Hughes and Ron Harrity. Harpswell had a solid four-year run during which it released an EP and two full-length albums – the second of which, Let’s go anyway, drew the attention of famed indie-rock producer and musician Kramer, who mixed, mastered and added organ to it.

A year or so after anyway, Harrity and Hughes recruited a new rhythm section – former Diamond Sharp bassist Mandy Wheeler and drummer Sean Wilkinson (an art director of this publication) – and Honey Clouds was born.


Earl Grey Demos is the catchiest album Harrity and Hughes have yet released. There are shades of the pair’s alt-country roots here, but mostly Demos rocks. The guitars alternately jangle a la early R.E.M. and crunch like Crazy Horse. Killer riffs abound. The new group’s exuberance is palpable, a feeling reinforced by the fact Demos was recorded live one Saturday last December at their practice space in the New Systems Laundry complex in Bayside.

Having shed any pretense of singing in key several years ago, Hughes has since developed a flat, languorous vocal style that’s distinctive and, once you get accustomed to it, cool. On Demos, that stoned-out tone gives way to a spirited yelling of sorts more often than not. Hell, you’d yell too if you’d written a batch of songs this good.

David Pence well captured the first song, “Breeze,” in his most recent edition of The Online Underground. That track’s a taste of the slower, more off-kilter vibe on this 10-song release. The next one, “Through the Trees,” is a bright, poppy number that kicks into another gear for its sing-along chorus.


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