EP Review: Hodera—’Besides’

Posted: by The Editor

It’s interesting that Besides is a collection of songs that didn’t see a release with Hodera’s latest record. I, like so many others, found the EP to be striking, having the kind of impact that makes ears perk up when giving a first listen. For instance, opener “For The Best” leads itself into the somber tone that carries throughout the EP, but has a mid-song pick-up in tune with 2013 indie rock’s signature. “If You Want Me To” ripples itself in as the first song began, mellow and intricate.

A realization that’s perhaps hardest to speak into existence comes across as the vocal point of the song’s hook: “I’ll let you go/if you want me to.” Wrapping itself around intelligent verses and a dark side of love, this second track is an intense recollection of a time that was beautiful until it wasn’t.

“Hey Ana” presents itself as an acoustic ballad, finding a perfect place in the middle of the release as a show of support for a friend that’s struggling. Though the two have different sounds, “Medicine” rolls in smoothly. Lyrically, the track continues the record’s theme of loss and anxiety, delivering these complicated feelings in a limitless way. The way every chord fits together is an incredible listen, an ever-surprising mix of rock and country. 

This Hodera release has something for everyone, even while specific. For me, the last two tracks in point remind me of conversations I’ve had that question why people you care for have to go when you don’t want them to. While that situation is always hard to get a grip on, collections of songs like Besides have the capacity to be emotionally impactful in a way that reminds the listener that they’re not alone. An EP that shows ranges of emotions and sounds such as this one could easily slip through the cracks of other releases this year, but it deserves a nod for its intelligent instrumentals and its bravery to be vulnerable. 

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Kayla Carmichael | @kaylacarmicheal

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