Since first catching them at the Biko Co-op Garage in 2008, I have waved my Hosannas fan flag proudly. Then known as Church and boasting twice as many members, the band spent its set experimenting with computer sounds, keyboard tinkerings, and an intoxicating mix of loud-then-soft percussion. The result was a dizzying, beautiful thing unlike any I’d heard—and in the years since, it’s only gotten better.
Now broken down to its base parts—namely, brothers/songwriters Brandon and Richard Laws—the duo is tighter than ever. “The writing process is much easier [now],” explained Richard via email. “When it is just the two of us, the music seems able to go anywhere. We usually have the same destination in mind but move in different directions, or we want to take an idea to opposite extremes but end up playing the same thing; it’s a flawless system.”
And the proof? It can be found on the recently self-released Together, a wide-eyed and undeniably unified culmination of all the promise Hosannas have shown from the start. Their “When We Were Young” provides a foot-stomping, guitar-noise–filled rocker that rises up, then falls, then builds again over a symphonic synth line and punching drum work. And album ender “The People I Know” brims with enough atmospheric computer tones and hushed lyricism to captivate even the most jaded of music appreciators.
“On [past records] you can hear more clearly a separation between Brandon’s songs and mine,” said Richard. “With Together we played each other’s instruments and made more of an influence on each other’s songs, which made for a more cohesive record. It also made for some more unusual arrangements.”
Hosannas can be found—unusual arrangements and all—at Muddy Waters Café this Monday, March 7, at 8 p.m. en route to their gigs at this year’s South by Southwest. As for what you can expect, Richard puts it simply enough: “There will just be the two of us, and we will be brothers, and there will be tons of deep bass notes.” Sign me up. Call 966-9328 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets.