Thee Ahs - Names - 2015 Vancouver Indie Pop LP
Thee Ahs - Names
Label: Kingfisher Bluez KFB6018
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, 150 gram
Released: 26 Sep 2015
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Indie Pop, Indie Rock
Limited to /250 copies on 150 gram vinyl.
Mastered By Timothy Stollenwerk
Recorded By, Mixed By Jay Arner
"A few albums ago, Thee AHs were a cute, scrappy indie-pop quartet with songs like “Potato Head” and “Fatboy” that were every bit as fun and silly as their titles would suggest. They’ve since gone in a darker direction that they describe as “black bubblegum”, and Names completes their transformation into a noisy, completely untwee rock band.
Every song on this 10-track LP takes its title from someone’s first name. This is a successful gimmick, as the use of names gives the songs a sense of tender intimacy, with each one acting as a personalized message to a special someone. Downcast opener “Olga” is particularly touching, as singer Sarah Lowenbot sighs, “Holding on to happiness/Is like fist clenched with falling sand.”
Names becomes particularly confessional when primary songwriter Davina Shell writes for her own bandmates: the pensively nostalgic “Ridley” seems to be named after the group’s former bassist, Ridley Bishop, and it begins with the lyric “We played when we were only little kids/Why have we grown apart?” The brisk and bouncy “Mareesa” is presumably about drummer Mareesa Holmes and describes unrequited longing between friends.
In addition to Shell’s material, newly added bassist Dan On contributes three tracks, with the grungy “Andrew” and the playful “Davie” standing out as the record’s two catchiest numbers. Clearly, Thee AHs have managed to grow out of their cute phase without sacrificing any of the pop-friendly charm that made them appealing in the first place, and Names is by far the best installment in their catalogue."