Life is completely kicking my ass at the moment. My bank account is overdrawn, I've been dragging ass all day from staying out way too late on a Monday night, drinking whiskey at Sancho's after the Sunny Day show, talking up random strangers. The weather sucks ... eh, you get the picture. On paper, today had all the makings of being a craptastic day. Nonetheless, it turned out to be pretty swell, thanks to Hello Kavita, whose forthcoming record, To a Loved One, I've been listening to on repeat all morning. Man, is it just the salve the doctor ordered. Owing to small miracles -- namely my office returning to working order yesterday after the scaffolding being removed from the back wall and the drywall dust being vacuumed up (don't ask) -- I came across a burned copy of the disc awaiting me on my desk when everything got put back together. Man, is this a terrific record. Sounds like heaven right now to these AM Gold-loving ears.
I've been eagerly awaiting the release of this little gem ever since Cory Teruya began posting the raw tracks on MySpace, piecemeal as they were finished. And everytime I ran into him this past summer and asked him how the record was coming, he assured me that things were gradually progressing. Key word there was gradual: He was working on it as diligently as possible between working and navigating other folks' schedules. Booking time here and there at Colorado Sound with Ian Hlatky (Born in the Flood, Ten Cent Redemption) behind the board, he and the band finally finished it. And suffice it to say, you can tell this is a record that wasn't made in a hurry. Teruya, Hlatky and the other members of Hello Kavita outdid themselves.
Recorded entirely in analog on two-inch tape, Loved One sounds pleasantly anachronistic. Like the best albums of Nixon administration, the thing sounds like it was recorded in the early to mid '70s. Guided, as always, by Teruya's gentle, unhurried confident tenor, the tastfully ornate songs boast an array of subtle instrumentation, from twinkling rhodes to swelling strings to mellotron to pedal steel, and take their time to get where they're going. The perfect Sunday morning coming down record, Hello Kavita's latest is easily on par with the more subdude moments of Wilco, with whom the outfit is often compared, even though the group's classic sound reminds me more of something that could fall somewhere between Californian-era Sunday's Best and the Autumn Defense's first record.
Hear it for yourself below. Teruya has graciously posted the entire album on MySpace in the running order in which it will appear. Enjoy and then pick up a copy of To a Loved One at the band's CD release party on Friday, October 23, at the hi-dive with kindred act Houses and It's True.