The rhythm section, heavier, tighter, and more propulsive than ever, drives the songs forward while horns careen over dueling vocals and interweaving guitars.
After a steady diet of near-constant touring across three continents, including a stint opening for The Cure on the 2004 Curiosa tour, Cursive was a quintet on the precipice. Their then-most recent record The Ugly Organ had racked up considerable accolades--named one of 2003's best records by Blender, called "the best album of (the band's) career" by The New York Times and given a 4-star rating by Rolling Stone--but the band, ragged and road-weary, opted for an ambiguous hiatus rather than forge onward to the daunting task of Follow-Up to Hit Record.
All was quiet in Camp Cursive for more than a year... And then, slowly at first, after much decompression and contemplation, they began to discuss and then assemble a new record as a freshly reconstituted four-piece--the longtime core of Tim Kasher (vocals, guitar), Matt Maginn (bass), Clint Schnase (drums) and Ted Stevens (guitar, vocals).
The band's reemergence finds them self-assured and assertive as ever. Rather than retread familiar artistic ground, Cursive has unfurled their most adventurous and accomplished work to date, Happy Hollow. Happy Hollow is an expansion of Cursive's trademark discordant swell: dissonant yet distinctively melodic guitar sounds and frontman Kasher's ever-cathartic yowl now mesh and clash with horns, piano, accordion and other various instrumentation. The new songs are marked by a new bounce, a buoyant strut and a recognition that hey... this is fun.
Still informed by a sharp lyrical pathos and a wise, road-tested sense of dynamic interplay, the songs groove and dart with brash swagger, interspersed with hints of gospel and skewed blues. The rhythm section, heavier, tighter, and more propulsive than ever, drives the songs forward while horns careen over dueling vocals and interweaving guitars. Never repeating themselves, always pushing forward artistically and never settling, Cursive returns to raise the bar with yet another groundbreaking new album, Another Hit Record as Follow-Up to Hit Record. Happy Hollow's first single "Dorothy at Forty" is another typically atypical Cursive romp, catapulted by incisive guitars, punctuated by horns and jerking to a stop before mightily spiraling away into the song's rousing coda. To be released July 11, "Dorothy at Forty" is backed with non-album tracks "The Bitter End" and "The Censor."
What people are saying about Happy Hollow:
“Cursive haven't just redefined their sound--they've transcended it.” 5/5. - AP
4 stars. - Spin, Blender, URB, Time Out New York
3.5 stars. - Rolling Stone
A-. Pick of the Week. The A List. - Entertainment Weekly
“True American Gothic” - Harp
“...furiously gear-shifting punk-pop, full of horn blasts and arty production tricks ... never fails to rock the sermon.” - Blender
"Cursive's most focused and evolved record yet...(their) best ever." - Nylon
"Another fiery, sardonic album. Grade: A." - The Onion
"'Retreat' is the the best "letter to the Almighty" pop song since 'Dear God' by XTC." - Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times
"It's rather brilliant...a personal (and personnel) triumph for the band." - Magnet
"The Omaha indie band meets the concept-album challenge on its latest, "Happy Hollow," setting to surging, clamoring rock the saga of racial and religious conflicts in a fictional small town." - Richard Cromelin, Los Angeles Times
“Kasher has traded such woe-is-me sentiment for a set of more engaging musical arrangements, applying booming gospel voices and Dixieland horns to his band’s spastic art-rock posturing” - Spin
“Where other indie-rock lover boys are content to play cute, (Kasher) asks questions, makes demands, promises impossibilities, exploring the ugly places in the heart. But that’s why he’s an original, testifying about love with the conviction of a young indie Springsteen” 3-1/2 stars. - Rolling Stone
"Happy Hollow swings with the nutty abandon of Madness, sharpened with the literate punk frenzy of Fugazi." 4 Stars. - Magnet