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Boston indie-pop quintet The Hush Now have made an indelible impression on music critics and fans by wedding the ''lush sugar-spun melodies of shoegaze's dreamy heyday'' to ''the hooky muscle of bands like Guided by Voices and Built To Spill'' as one critic put it. The band's self-titled debut, released last October, climbed independent radio top 100 charts and drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Guided By Voices, Poole, and The Ocean Blue, among others. Blog buzz and radio play by legendary BBC 6 DJ Steve Lamacq further fueled interest in the band, who had yet to even play their first gig.
''We didn't exist.'' says singer Noel Kelly (formerly of Cerulean). ''But that's what's so great about the new media outlets today. If you put together a quality product and get it out there, there's always the chance somebody will pick up on it.'' The genesis of the band can be traced to a stormy night in LA two years ago when Kelly attempted to drive a stick shift with a broken wrist. He awoke with a flagpole through his windshield and an angry priest pointing at a hole in the side of his church – all while Queen's ''Don't Stop Me Now'' played on the radio. After his brush with death, Kelly moved to Portland, Oregon and began writing material for The Hush Now's debut.
Noel eventually landed in Boston, where he teamed up with Mike DiMinno, an elementary school teacher and bassist. Barry Marino (Often Airborne, This Car Up) joined in on drums and Kurt Schneider (This Car Up) played keyboards. The last piece of the puzzle was producer David Newton (The Mighty Lemon Drops). ''I had worked with Dave in the past with Cerulean and knew that I didn't want to work with anybody else on my first solo project" says Kelly, ''He was cool enough to humor me and so we all flew out to LA nearly two full years to the date of my accident to record the first Hush Now album.''
When DiMinno and Schneider left to devote time to other projects, Kelly brought in three additional players to fill the void. Mike Wittrien replaced DiMinno on bass and backup vocals, John Millar (Home Movies) replaced Schneider on keyboards, and John Charpentier (Green Sees) joined as lead guitarist and backup vocalist. ''Everybody has a unique ear and all are stellar musicians.'' Kelly says. ''We have a soft spot for similar bands and understand the idea of making music that gets people moving.''
The band is currently finishing a follow-up to their debut and touring. As for the future, Kelly remains optimistic ''Personally, I thrive on scars, because I tend to fuck up quite a bit, but it keeps me energized. As long as you're honest, people will forgive mistakes.''
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