Since their 2008 release, Goodbye Blues, the members of the indie pop group The Hush Sound had taken an extended break that was dotted with only the occasional show here and there. In the meantime, they pursued other ventures, musically and otherwise, but at the end of the day, all roads lead back to the band. The group known for creating pop in its purest form are performing a select few tour dates this fall—one being in New York—and they seem to have found their way yet again. These Chicago-based musicians are back into the creative state of mind once more and are currently writing new material with plans to record it all this winter.

The future is looking bright in 2013 for fans of The Hush Sound because, thankfully, we haven’t heard the last of them. Amidst their current schedule, pianist/singer Greta Salpeter and guitarist/singer Robert Morris took some time to fill me on the happenings within the band. We had a chance to talk about the music they are into, the tour, and the evolution of their sound. Here is what the duo had to say:

The Hush Sound are currently doing a small tour this fall within the U.S. What made you decide to get up and do this?

Greta Salpeter: It actually happened very naturally. We had been a super, super active band from 2006 to 2008, and we were on tour several months out of each year. It was really very intense for young people and we really just kind of got burnt out. After that we wanted to explore some other collaborations, explore some other projects, and focus on not really being on tour as much. We still played a few times a year. In 2009 and 2011, we’d still play a hometown show and maybe one or two private shows, that kind of thing. And then in the last six months or so it just kind of seemed natural. Bob and I are both finished working on our other projects for the moment; we got together to write and everything went really well. We just felt like, “Why not take the band on the road and just kind of explore this again?” We have been taking every step of this process really naturally, so playing small shows is just kind of a natural step to see if the chemistry is still there.

Aside from the separate musical projects you pursued, what were you guys up to during your time off?

Robert Morris: I pretty much took that time to quit music, and I moved to California like pretty much everyone who quits music. I just kind of spent a lot of time reading and just kind of growing. I think Greta did the same thing. I just kind of fell back into music as it turns out, and I just kind of got way more involved with all of the aspects of the songwriting and recording and stuff like that. That has pretty much been what I do on a daily basis; record music and play music and love music and do comedy.

GS: I kind of just did the same thing, you know, I started learning how to record. It was nice to just take time to spend… For me, I was in Chicago a lot of the time with my family, and I just enjoyed some really nice vacations and just like, some really good quality time together. When we were on tour, it was like we would have to miss, you know… I remember having Thanksgiving at IHOP and that kind of thing. We missed a lot of important kind of family things because we’d be on the road so much. It has been nice to just enjoy real life, normal stuff like cooking and going for walks and enjoying your neighborhood and being with your family and that kind of thing.

You mentioned that getting back into music was a very organic process for you. Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write new material?

GS: Yeah, we have been writing a lot, it was almost just like an experiment. Bob was home in August, wait, where were you, did we have Hush Sound shows then?

RM: I think we had something.

GS: Yeah, I kind of forget now, but basically we were just like, “Why don’t we just get together and see if like, we can have any of the exciting collaboration feeling like when we were teenagers?” Bob came over my house and in about an hour we wrote, what I think, is one of the strongest new songs. Afterwards, we had dinner and just hung out and it was really fun.

RM: I played the song that we wrote that day for my roommate and she was just so excited because she was like, “It’s everything that I love about what you guys have been doing and it also has this thing that you guys have when you are together that gets me so excited.” That just kind of reaffirmed what I had felt like after being apart for so long writing wise, just to come back in and knock something out on the first day was really inspiring and reassuring.

When can your listeners expect to hear new music?

GS: Probably in spring of 2013, we’re planning to record this winter, but we are still figuring out the plan.

How do you think your sound has evolved since 2008’s Goodbye Blues?

GS: I think it’s much more viscerally stimulating; we used to start songwriting from all different places. Maybe we’d drop a lyric or drop a chord progression or whatever. The way Bob and I have been working on the new music, it has really been kind of all about melody and all about the beat. Even more so than the lyrics, even more so than the atmosphere, it has been kind of like the most important core of what a pop song should be.

RM: I think also we’re in a different level of understanding art. When we first went at it, it was very honest and from the gut, and I think now there’s a little more craft going into it. It’s more purposeful, I would say, and it’s an exciting feeling.

What new music are you guys listening to right now?

RM: Yeah, I like the new Tame Impala record [Lonerism] a lot. I’ve been listening to a lot of Britpop from the ‘90s, which isn’t new obviously, like Pulp and things like that. I think that has been a huge influence. I like Metronomy a lot. I’ve been listening to this band called The Alessi Brothers from the ‘70s that I’d never heard of. The specific song that Greta and I have been geeking out over is called “Seabird.” It’s just amazing.

GS: I’ve been kind of… Bob and I were just talking about this. I feel like I have been so overwhelmed with new music in the last few years that actually in the last 10 days, I have gone back and revisited all of the music that I have really, really loved in high school. It’s not really that new. If I had to say my favorite brand new artist right now, my favorites would be Metronomy, a band called The Orwells, and a band called JJAMZ, who is actually playing some of these shows with us. I’ve been diving more into things that are kind of all like, pre-2005.

 

The Hush Sound will play at Philly’s Theatre Of Living Arts on Nov. 16 and NYC’s Highline Ballroom on Nov. 18. For more information, go to thehushsound.net.

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