I fell for the delightful indie folk sound of Kentucky-based quartet Houndmouth in the summer of 2012, the very first time I spun their self-titled debut EP. The pitch-perfect boy/girls vocals from Matt Myers and Katie Toupin were instantly engaging and as a result, Houndmouth started making their way up my list of favorite bands.
My appreciation for the band was cemented the very next year with the release of their “From the Hills Below the City” full-length debut. Happily, that terrific slab included the three best songs from the EP — “Penitentiary,” “Houston Train”and “Krampus” — and the other tunes on the 12-track release were every bit as enjoyable. While reviews were a bit mixed, I felt like Houndmouth had laid a solid foundation for future endeavors.
They fulfill that promise — and then some — with the long-awaited release of sophomore long-player “Little Neon Limelight.” Houndmouth have fine-tuned their sound and, much to my happy surprise, this 11-track gem surpasses its predecessor. While the aforementioned “Penittentiary” remains my favorite song by the band, they come close to that level of awesomeness with standouts “Sedona,” “Black Gold,” “Honey Slider,” “My Cousin Greg,” “Gasoline” and set closer “Darlin’.”
To top it off, Houndmouth are performing a headlining show at Pittsburgh’s Mr. Smalls (www.mrsmalls.com) on Saturday, March 28, at 9 p.m. with special guest Parker Milsap. Here’s a golden opportunity to listen to the new record and then check out this fantastic outfit live and in person. (Jeffrey Sisk)