It seems like quite some time since I've heard anything from Cut Off Your Hands. The band took 2 years off following extensive touring in support of their full length debut album, 2008's "You & I". I can recall back as far as 2007, when the band had only a couple solid EPs available and Zane Lowe was spinning "Still Fond" and "Expectations" on BBC1 with regularity.
With their sophomore album "Hollow" set to be released on July 19th via Frenchkiss Records , it seems as though we are getting a band that has matured and developed their sound into a more focused and nuanced one.
With influences ranging from 60's thru the 90's, I was excited to hear some Echo and the Bunnymen in "Hollowed Out", The Smiths in "You Should Do Better". Things just sound a lot more comfortable and laid back this time around, and it comes off sounding less forced.
The band really has come full circle, with 2 of the original band members leaving and ultimately returning to record the new album. The band had become burnt out from their industrious work and tour schedule and thus the name "Hollowed Out" as a track title, and ultimately worked into the album name. They went into the recording process still focused, but less intent on being world beaters. They opted to produce the album themselves this time around, instead of going back to producer Bernard Butler.
Singer Nick Johnston says the approach to Hollow differed from their first album:
“Our first record was pretty eclectic, both lyrically and sonically,” explains Johnston. “We were unsure of what we wanted to achieve with it, so we needed a producer like [former Suede guitarist] Bernard [Butler] to tie it all together. With Hollow, we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve.”
The album is available via iTunes.