Hugh Hart is covering personal experiences and anecdotes in his guitar-driven rock sound for his EP Dog Park. Written during the pandemic, he recorded it in the laundry room of the cottage he rents. Using stories and memories of people he used to know, he has you listening in awe to the stories while being inundated with the emotions he has to offer.
Hart has been a part of the music scene for years recording with his first band Huge Hart and bringing gospel to listeners with the Magnificent Seven. When his last band Wedge broke up, he moved back to Los Angeles where he wrote stories for Wired, New York Times and L.A. Times. His hard-rock anthem in 2017 led to wishful thinking and he is now back with some guitar-driven tracks that you can easily play on repeat.
’27 Shades of Blue’ opens the EP with a pulse of sound that sweeps you off your feet. The music hits you from all sides before pushing you forward with its momentum. Hart’s gruff vocals are an excellent rough edge that counters the tender piano notes. All the elements of the track come together for a song that makes you think about the world around you. There is a wonderful bluesy depth to the music threaded into a rock pop soundscape. The chorus is ridiculously catchy and you are going to be singing along to it because you just have to.
There is a plucky feeling to the opening of ‘Dog Park’ that makes you think of sunny days. The lyrics have a great storytelling quality to them as they clearly paint a picture of a day in the life of someone in a city. There is a lot going on in this single from the wobbly horns to the jumping piano line. Each layer of instrumentation adds a ray of light to the track while the vocals lose the gruffness of the opening track and shiver in your chest.
‘How to Be a Millionaire’ has a slight country edge to it while the paced vocals are all Hugh Hart. The song draws on memories of a classmate Hart had who became homeless while still trying to dream big. There is an interesting emotional hit with the single as you are filled with a sense that big dreams are great but are pulled down by the darkness of reality. There is a wonderful use of idioms and metaphors in this song that bring the message of the track to life.
‘If It Works for You’ brings the EP to a close with a wonderful piano line that forms a solid foundation for the vocals. Hart’s voice gets some of the gruffness of the opening track back for this song which neatly links things. There is an eclectic mixture of tones in the track that come together for a curious single. The pulses of the music are matched with the vocals to drive the lyrics and emotions of the track home.
Hugh Hart will have you singing along with him while leaving you with a lot to think about through his EP Dog Park. With four distinctive tracks, the EP shows the versatility of his musicality and vocals. Through the music, you are drawn into the tale of the lyrics while the melody pulses the messaging and emotions home.