Welcome to the inaugural installment of Indie Daze. Each Sunday I’ll provide the latest and greatest of sun-soaked reverb, hazy vocals, dream pop, shoegaze, psych, and everything in between.

True to form, this week’s Indie Daze features the debut album from Seattle’s Hibou. As the leaves begin to turn and autumn arrives, Hibou provide us with the perfect dazy soundtrack. The album brims with faded vocals and jangly guitars.

The style is reminiscent of west coast neo-psychedelia but it maintains a sense of levity. There is a strong summer feel to it and a thumping surf vibe accompanied by lush arrangements. And that’s where this album begins to feel like more than just a summer album. Where a summer album might serve as background music to watching the waves crash against the beach, this album serves as a soundtrack to action.

The track “When the Season Ends” emulates this theme perfectly.  It starts with an 80s inspired pop beat then adds a dash of whimsical vocals culminating with their signature melodic chorus. “When the season ends, you’ll see what we want” croons Peter Michael, the leader singer and brain child behind the project. It’s that kind of vague lyricism that gives Hibou so much allure. The lyrics are simultaneously wistful yet upbeat.

“Dissolve”, perhaps the most radio-friendly tune, takes the nostalgia to the next level. The guitar pedal is in full effect and Peter Michael makes sure to add a reverb-soaked quasi-solo towards the end for good measure. The whole album is loaded with gems like these and the consistency throughout catapults it to an upper tier indie album.

Hibou is the byproduct of Peter Michael’s desire to create on his own. The Seattle native initially began touring with Craft Spells as a drummer right out of high school. Opting for a more creative outlet, he left the band to start his own project. And so Hibou was born. He has been producing under the moniker for around two years with his first release, Dunes EP, paving the way for this album.

Peter Michael enlists a live backing band for touring purposes but maintains full control over all elements of production. And he’s having a blast doing it. Hibou had a host of summer tour dates in support of Cayucas and I had the pleasure of catching them live.  I’ve never seen a band with a similar stage presence. The group of surf pop rockers were all smiles, friendly, and bouncing around the stage–the kind of guys you would most certainly want to grab a beer with.

When I asked him to describe his sound, Peter Michael paused. “Dreamy” he said slowly at first. “Surf. Pop” he then spouted quickly. He nodded with a sense of approval with the image he had just created. Nothing encapsulates Hibou more simply than those three adjectives.

And if that summer tour wasn’t enough, they are embarking upon a 10-date tour this fall in support of their eponymous debut album. The album is out now via Barsuk Records.

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