FEATURE: Stop Making Excuses & Start Listening To Oh Honey

ohhoney

This probably won’t be that hard for you to believe, but despite the fact I more or less make a living talking about music there are still great new bands that I don’t discover until well after they have made a splash on the national stage. I like to think I do a fairly good job of keeping up with everything people tell me is worth hearing, and I also make time every week to seek out new bands I haven’t heard before (Bandcamp makes this incredibly easy). Still, no matter how many artists I listen to, great talent often passes me by. I’m sure many of you feel the same, which is why I am writing you today to say it’s time we all stop sleeping on Oh Honey and propel them to the top of every alternative pop chart on the planet.

I don’t want this post to read like a Wikipedia entry, but for those unfamiliar with this group you only really need to know that Oh Honey is a duo from New York that is composed of singer-guitarist Mitchy Collins and vocalist Danielle Bouchard. Their sound falls somewhere between the worlds of folk and contemporary pop, with just enough indie influence to keep your feet and hips moving whenever their songs come on. Atlantic Records liked their music enough to offer them a deal with their iconic Fueled By Ramen imprint, and since then Oh Honey has been releasing a series of EPs they’ve dubbed ‘Postcards.’ Three of the four planned releases are available now, and we’re expecting the final EP to arrive before the end of the year.

There is no telling when or where I first heard Oh Honey, but I have been aware of the band’s existence for a little over a year now. I thought their songs were cute at first, but I wasn’t sure there was anything to them that would make me want to listen again and again. That opinion changed slightly in the Fall of last year when the group’s single “Be Okay” was used in a promotional campaign for the film The Hundred-Foot Journey. It was because of the music I first wanted to see the film, and learning that Oh Honey were the creators led me to revisit their music a second time. I enjoyed it, perhaps even more than before, but for one reason or another I grew tired by the time snow began to fall in New England.

“Be Okay” ended up being used by a number of companies after that initial movie campaign. You may have heard the song used to promote the now-defunct ABC show Selfie, or perhaps for the new Fall menu at Chili’s Restaurants. The track boasts that kind of adventurous, throw your cares to the wind indie sound that groups like Of Monsters And Men had found so much success in, only with an added hint of sugary pop goodness that set it apart as something special. Again, it’s a great song, but for whatever reason it wasn’t enough to sell me on the band.

Fast-forward to a long stretch of uninteresting highway in central Pennsylvania during the second to last weekend of April. I’m driving to Launch Music Conference for a panel appearance when I realize the Spotify playlist I created has been played in full not once, but twice, and I was already four tracks in to the third rotation. I love a great mix as much as the next person, but two times through is more than enough to make me yearn for anything else with an equal level of quality entertainment. I shuffled through my iTunes library, as well as my Spotify library, but nothing I found could really hold my interest. I eventually decided to let Spotify radio choose for me, and that is when I finally fell in love with Oh Honey.

Movies and books have told us that the moment we find true love, in any form, time slows to a crawl. It may only be for a few brief seconds, but it’s more than enough time for you to become aware of the fact your emotions are trying to make you realize the importance of whatever you’re encountering at that particular moment. My car was probably traveling over 70 miles per hour when the song “Sugar, You” first came on, but the three and a half minutes that transpired while it played might as well have passed like a million years. I was fully in control of myself and my car the entire time, but I also found myself lost in the music pouring through my speakers. For a few fleeting moments, I was not worried or stressed or even thinking of a single thing other than the road in front of me and the music on the radio.

When the song ended I immediately started it over once again, only this time at about twice the volume as before. I only knew the chorus, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t at least try to pretend like I had already mastered the song. It had already gotten the best of me, so I wanted to know it like the back of my hand. In time that would happen, but that afternoon while traveling down that long stretch of pavement, all I could do was fall deeper and deeper in love with a sound I had known for years, but until then had never truly understood. Oh Honey is more than cute pop music, and they always have been. They’re storytellers, for lack of a better word, and with each release they are proving themselves more and more to be a catchy songwriter force like no other in music today.

I have only recently managed to jump on the Oh Honey bandwagon, which is currently pulling out of the station with a destination at the top of the Billboard charts, but I urge all of you to join me as soon as possible. If neither of the songs in this post hook you, please seek out the rest of their catalog. There is something undeniably authentic in this music that you simply cannot find anywhere else on the planet today. Oh Honey is more than two talented people showcasing their skills, it’s an expression of life as experienced by two incredibly perceptive people who understand how to convey real life experiences through song and metaphor. In terms of songwriting alone, you are going to be hard-pressed to find any duo today that can match wits with this pair, and the same goes for groups with three, four, five, or even six members. Oh Honey are the real deal, whatever that may mean to you, and they will soon be one of the biggest bands in the world. Don’t get left behind.

Written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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