Hibou "Something Familiar" Album Review

by Sophie Pay

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Something Familiar is a dreamy pop filled album, right out of Seattle.

With their new album Something Familiar on the Seattle indie label Barsuk Records, Hibou’s songwriting has become much deeper. Peter Michel has taken on topics that reflect on himself, including that of anxiety and self-discovery. Opposite to his debut album, which took on his teenage years and the troubles that occur at that point in life. The songs on the album incase the opposite of his previous work, which was lighter and dreamier. Michel’s writing has matured into topics that are not typically taken on by many people, the usual love song will not be found on the album.

The single, “Fall Into” starts off with a catchy bass line, accompanied by the mix of synths and drum machines. The occasional outburst of guitars, allows Michel to emphasize the most important parts of the song, which later turns it to a full blown dreamy pop song. The song “Junipero Love” explores the years of change that occurs in a person’s life. Towards the end of the song the drums and guitar complement each others approach in the song’s finale. The track “Something Familiar” allows Michel to pour his struggles out, conveying how you should not always stick with what you know, but rather try new things that will make you happy. Songs like "Glamour" and "Opia" mark the turning point in the album where Michel digs even deeper into his struggles. The songs are no longer full of airy vocals, but with that of someone who is frustrated with how life is going. The song "Only in the Dark" has a nice calm 60s rock atmosphere, with the rhythmic guitars and drums.  

Moreover, Hibou took their songwriting to a realistic level that is full of emotions. The core of Hibou still remains intact; sticking to the reverb guitars, airy vocals, and dreamy pop sound. Something Familiar takes you on a trip through space and time, exploring the fundamental aspects of life itself. Michel is more honest about his life, putting the ups and downs of it out into the world. His honest approach opens up a door of personal subjects, where Michel was able to bring an uplifting atmosphere to the album.

8/10 stars

The new album Something Familiar is out now on Barsuk Records, check out the music video for the song “Fall Into” down below.