HVOB, Joel Chandler, Josh Adam | Smart Bar | Dance | Chicago Reader

HVOB, Joel Chandler, Josh Adam Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Thu., April 28, 8 p.m. 2016

The electronic sound of Austrian duo HVOB (aka Her Voice Over Boys) ebbs and flows with the seductive voice of leader Anna Muller, and the more her controlled singing resembles a whisper, the more you’re encouraged to crank the volume. Her tender, dramatically colored vocals nudge the group’s otherwise timid-sounding production into unfolding and building upward until it envelops you in a cocoon. HVOB is downtempo pop that’s minimal house music by way of long-standing German indie band the Notwist. It’s so easy to imagine Notwist front man Markus Acher dueting with Muller during a remix version of the pensive tune “Reason” (from HVOB’s 2013 self-titled album). Last year’s Trialog (Stil vor Talent) is more brooding and immersive than its predecessor, with HVOB layering complex instrumentation without letting the songs get too dense. The nimble, handclap-spiked percussion and melting horn lines on “Cool Melt” gel into an engrossing, ascending melody that goes higher and higher with no apotheosis in sight. Muller’s serene vocals keep the track grounded—and she remains prohibitively cool even as she features a word like “viscosity” so many times that you can’t help but harp on it.

Leor Galil

Price: $13, $9 in advance

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