Every year there’s a surge in public displays of affection. Social media feeds run rampant with couples’ selfies, as various heart emojis garnish sickly-sweet Instagram posts. And, depending on where you fall on the spectrum of single or in a relationship (and everything else in between) this starry-eyed, rosy-cheeked holiday may just make you smile or squirm. For Moor Hound, the warmth of love’s beginning and the cold ache of loneliness left in its wake are inextricably linked.
His ode to February 14th is without any sort of shiny veneer. It’s a poignant, rawly-delivered six-track EP by the name of Green, courtesy of Darling Records. And it cuts deep. With every acoustic guitar strum, every tangy reverberation, your heartbeat falters. A true folk singer, Moor Hound’s songs (in their succession) feel like an epic poem for the modern-day romantic. He scatters details within his lyrics that feel like flashbulb memories, turning benign moments so commonly written off into vivid imagery, imbued with a meaning that only he can understand fully. Like seeing a former couple recall a private joke, we only pick up on their briefly shared smirk, a flicker in an otherwise extinguished flame.
A subdued, slightly pitchy timbre permeates Green, with a guitar at the forefront of these forlorn ruminations. There’s a theme of travel lightly peppered throughout, as the album’s introductory song opens with, “I drove south / You came out to the show / I got nervous,” and then later recalling, “I drove through the old neighborhood.” We see the connecting thread of bonds that have faded, and how bittersweet it is to remember. Moor Hound details the route which was carved out in parts of Florida and Georgia, perhaps on tour, and we see the irony of how being on the road, constantly pressing forward, can be the perfect atmosphere to reflect on the past.
"See You Around" details exactly that. The run-in with the ex, and the wave of dread that washes over us in response. Moor Hound paints the picture with a brazen honesty, “Play it cool / Pretend that I’m over it now / And I function at a normal speed.” Languid guitar plucks follow, the rise and wane of their notes emphasized by the stripped-down backdrop. The song ends with the sad realization that this relationship is a pattern, another failed attempt at connecting, which culminates in the heavy sigh of, “No, I’ve never been in love.”
And if this feels like the gut-wrenching antidote for the most jaded of your friends, hear me out. For all of Moor Hound’s heartache, there isn’t any sweeping of sense of cynicism throughout, like you might expect. There’s a little pain, regret, and nostalgia, but woven among those heavier feelings is a sense of hope. Moor Hound isn’t writing off love. He’s opening himself up to all it has to offer, knowing full well what’s at stake.