I honestly don’t remember how GOWNS’ ‘The Hollows’ ended up in my stack to review but, whatever the reason, I’m thankful for it. I haven’t even listened to it yet but I know that I’m thankful. It’s a Tuesday night and although I have a million things to do and could really use a couple extra hours of sleep after a late night last night, I’m feeling restless but am not ready to commit to an entire album right now. I noticed that the track listing on this one only had three tracks on it. I mean, checking out new music and still being able to get some extra hours of sleep tonight? I’m in! So I slipped the album into my stereo and hit play.

“Karianne” gets things started and I instantly knew that this was going to be a lot more than just a “quick three song” type of deal. I was in love as soon as the song kicked in. The instrumentation is extremely care-free and the vocals are smooth yet playful. A smile instantly took over my face and, had anyone been around me other than my cats, I’m sure they would have asked why I was sporting such a cheesy smile. Strong The Strokes vibes took over as my toes involuntarily started tapping to the infectious beat. Although this opening track is super fun, there’s also something much more to it. The creativity and the talent heard throughout the three and a half minute song is stunning to say the least.

“Sleepover” keeps the beat brisk but replaces the happy-go-lucky vibe of “Karianne” with a little bit more showmanship (although it’s still just as playful). It’s during this track that you realize the full potential of vocalist John Bair. His vocals come off as effortless but completely control everything else going on around him. Don’t get me wrong, the three other band members are super talented and you can hear that, but every time John’s vocals come in, they completely captivate you with ease. Although band names like The Strokes and Modest Mouse come to mind when listening to this, I wouldn’t classify GOWNS in the same category. There’s something so unique about GOWNS that you just have to hear.

Closing out the quick three song EP is “Lighthouse”. This track was probably my favorite out of the three songs because I feel like you really get a taste of all of the many influences that this band clearly has while also getting a taste of just how innovative this group is. I listened to this track at least four times before even writing this paragraph (if you haven’t caught on, I typically write as I’m listening to albums for the first time ever so you’re literally getting my instant reaction) just because I was so lost for words. Listen to this track first. Listen to this track only. Whatever— just listen to this tack. Please.

Well, I thought this three song release was going to be the perfect way to cap off my Tuesday evening and leave me with some extra hours of sleep but now, instead of crawling into bed to inevitably pass out, I plan on spending the rest of my evening digging into the band to find anything and everything they have ever done.

My Favorite Track(s): “Lighthouse”

For Fans Of: Retro Rock; Smiling; Songs that get stuck in your head

Dance-ability: 9.4 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats slept upstairs because I told them I was going to bed in just a couple of minutes– HA! I lied.

Questions For The Band: Will you tell me when you have a full length out?

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9.7 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 9.7 out of 10

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