Is the newest album by indie pop band The Hugs one of Portland’s best kept secrets?
Released just last year, many could argue “Love You to Death” is deserving of better notoriety – especially outside of their Portland stomping grounds.
Tracks on their newest release are a fun blend of BritPop and good old PNW grunge / garage n’ roll sure to bring a smile to your face.
We had a chance to visit Hugs frontman Danny Delegato last week to find out more about the album, and what’s in store this year for The Hugs.
PRP: “Let’s start with the basics. How long have you been a musician?”
DD: “I started on bass when I was 14, and started writing songs on guitar at 17. My first was a song called “Wonderful You.” “After that I just kept writing, and got hooked on writing big hooks and songs.”
PRP: “When did you think you might become a career musician?”
DD: “Back when I was writing my first demos – I was 16 and recording on a blue Tascam four-track. I got hooked. I wrote the entire first Hugs album my Junior year in High School.”
“That was a pivotal and life-changing experience. I just turned my life and emotions and everything I was feeling into great tunes. It all started then.”
DD: “I enjoy both. I play a Breedlove Cutaway Acoustic 12-string and a Fender strat as well as a Danelectro.”
The new album
PRP: “Please tell us a little about the main inspirations behind the new album!”
DD: “Falling in love, coming of age, unity and loss, and hopefulness, those types of things,” says Delegato.
“Inspirations came from my real life, and things that I saw, and that happened…the spirit of that specific time period and moment.”
PRP: “Where was it recorded?”
DD: “We did the demos at Mt. Hood, in a small cabin late at night. We finished writing, and moved into the Dandy Warhols studio the odditorium, in northwest Portland.”
“It’s a great warehouse studio with loads of amazing equipment…it was a great recording session.”
DD: “Mile High Lady” was written with a rock anthem theme in mind…I wanted to write a rock song that had a loud chorus and grooving verse.”
Mile High Lady
“I really enjoyed writing ‘Falling Star.’ It was written in Long Beach, WA on the coast.” “It’s a very personal track for me about life changes and falling in love in a harsh world.”
PRP: “How’s the reaction been for the new album?”
DD: “We’ve been so fortunate to get pretty awesome feedback so far about the album – especially “Falling Star,” “Open Sea” and the title track.
On opening for The Kooks
PRP: “You opened for The Kooks in 2018. That night you left the crowd wanting more! What do you remember about that show?”
DD: “I remember all the screaming fans, it was a great two gigs. And hanging out with (Kooks lead singer) Luke Pritchard, and just listening to his new favorite music and talking about England and old times from London.”
“They are a great band…and really a band I aspire to be more like.”
(Comment: Some of us think The Hugs outperformed The Kooks that night).
PRP: “It’s the start of a new decade..what’s in store for you this year?”
DD: “I’m getting ready to release a solo indie album, “Transmit a Moment,” that will be out on Spotify and iTunes March 20. It’s very lo-fi and and stripped down, and was recorded in different locations. One track recorded in London, another at Cannon Beach.”
PRP: “Any solo shows scheduled?”
DD: “In April at Cruzroom and more dates in May, June and July. I’m also looking forward to a week long residency in August and September at McMenamins Al’s Den.”
PRP: “Anything else on the horizon?”
DD: “We worked really hard on the album and toured a lot last year, so we’re just trying to deliver more and more this year. Definitely trying to take it to the next level for our fans!”
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That’s a wrap!
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Buy music by The Hugs on iTunes, or at their website .
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