Win, lose or draw, live, die or exist; there are plenty of pockets interspersed where the weight and emotional depth of moments big, small and in-between lend to the overall experience we have as human beings. Queens-based duo Hugs don’t have all of the answers, and their exciting latest work, 4e Curly, finds the beauty through the frustrations and uncertainties.
To celebrate the release of 4e Curly, we had Hugs say it better than I ever could by breaking it down track by track. Check out the responses while streaming below and keep it locked here for more from the band.
It Got Worse
A kind of thematic segue from the last song from our first release. The groove is built around a snappy rhythm which sort of mimes the headspace that’s described in the song; where, amidst the chaos of bad experiences and memories, one grapples with finding meaning of it all and gets trapped in the process.
We try to be ambiguously specific when writing lyrics or creating titles for things. Sex Drain sort of became about repeatedly doing something that you don’t want to do, or that you’re tired of doing, but you do it anyway.
This was a particularly draining song to create – the actual writing, recording and post production of this song was reminiscent of a delayed childbirth. Sex Drain originally started out as a handful of sections that we wrote, but we couldn’t figure out how to conjoin them. Meshing all of those sections together in a way that felt natural proved difficult and we ended up spending around 2 months constructing this song.
While we were recording the album, there was an unfortunate hard drive crash and all of our tracks and takes were scattered and jumbled with other sessions and songs. We spent a lot of time with Matt Molchany, who engineered the album, locating the correct takes by the date they were last opened. Piecing the tracks back together and trying to complete this song became an experience not unlike what the song itself is about.
And Death Is Short Like This
This was one of those instances of songwriting where every aspect coalesced effortlessly. The final recording is nearly identical (in terms of structure) to the very first time we wrote/jammed the song out. Once we recorded the basic tracks, everyone else involved just kind of did their thing in one or two takes and it was done.
This song is a sort of interlude which ushers in the second half of the record, which is more about seeing yourself out of the situations described in the first half. If the first half of the album is neurotic, then the second half is opening your eyes, rubbing all the crust out or like in lion king when Rafiki hits Simba on the head with a stick.
We couldn’t come up with any lyrics that felt cool enough to lay down, so we decided it didn’t really need any.
We also recorded a shelf for this song. Like, put a mic by a shelf and recorded it.
I’m Taking Your Brain
Both of us are fans of the loud/soft approach for songwriting. Something about jarring and abrasive hits followed by tender wrinkles is an undeniable pleasure for the soul.
The brain is a shapeshifter and it’s better to let it lie than to attempt to reason with it in dire straits.
I Like To Touch My Friends
Having friends is great. Hugging your friends is the best. Or high-fiving, or kissing, or whatever. Friends are the greatest. This song is about helping your friends get out of that part of their brain that’s described in ‘It Got Worse,’ which they’ve essentially tricked themselves into being in. If you have a shitty room in your house, you don’t have to hang out in there all day. It’s your house. Go into whichever room you’d like.
Loving one thing a lot, and enjoying doing that thing. Where Sex Drain is about being drained as a result of doing something, this song is about feeling nothing but good after doing something – Sex Drain’s counterpart. The sex metaphors aren’t exactly subtle.
Bliss, both thematically and sonically.
Hoping For The Very Best For All Of Us
Something like a reflection on the shit hole, and pulling yourself out of the shit hole. Being okay with who you are and where you are in life and just freakin’ it. Life can be a bummer but death is just life inverted, there’s no escape, so why not just say “fuck it,” and keep living.
Like Sex Drain, this one was a bit of a struggle to piece together. We had a lot of ideas which all had similar emotional vibrations, but trying to link the sections together cohesively without sounding too proggy was tough. Even though it sounds kind of proggy.