Outside Closer

At a first lazy listen, the latest Hood record, Outside Closer, sounds like a new release by Australian glimmer-pop group the Church. Given a more measured ear, it’s far too dense within its sunny manner. For 15 or so years, Hood has toiled in fair obscurity, moving past the reach of its influences and forging an altogether original blend of bright and slightly hazy shimmer. Hand claps, horns, strings and lovely guitar pickings mix with cross-fader glitchiness and clever production tricks. It sounds good, but past all the pleasantries is an ominous catch—a pang of regret, a stitch of pain or frustration lurks. You’re never really sure what’s coming, but the promise is alluring. This strong effort is perhaps what Radiohead has been meaning to say for a few albums now.