You may have to wait 'til October 6 to hold a physical copy of the Happy Hollows' debut album but you can hear it today for free. Spells is streamable in its entirety via the Silver Lake-centric trio's Bandcamp site, and it's apparently available for immediate MP3 purchase as well (name your price — $10 minimum). The pretty watercolor cover art (and the subsequent CD tray-dwelling unicorn) were drawn by Hollows singer Sarah Negahdari.
You may also note, on the stream/purchase page, a conspicuous lack of label branding. That's because the Hollows, though signed to Nettwerk circa March's SXSW conference, are currently without label and self-releasing Spells. The tracklisting follows, which includes a few hits that have been seasoning the walls of Spaceland for years. Among those: “A Man, A Plan, A Canal,” which may be a veiled Sufjan-esque paean to George Washington Goethals, the Roosevelt-appointed chief engineer to to the Panama Canal. Of course, it's more likely a play on an old palindrome.
Another song, “Death To Vivek Kemp” caused a minor solipsistic stir in 2006 when the real-life titular Kemp, then a staff writer for the Naples Daily News, came forward. As it turned out, neither Negahdari not her bandmates had any history with the man, though a friend of a friend did. From Kemp's piece on the subject:
“Everyone asks who you are,” [Sarah] finished.
Well who am I? I pleaded, as an itch captured the back of my throat. Arsenic perhaps?
“I tell people that you're what ever demonic thing they are trying to escape in their lives,” Sarah said sheepishly. I could hear the hesitation in her voice.
But what's in a name, right? Funnily enough, Kemp manages to get the singer's name wrong, referring to her as Sarah Megadari. At least the Hollows had his spelling right. The band plays an early record release show at Spaceland on September 4 with the Pity Party, the Boxing Lesson, and the Health Club. Tickets are available here.