TVD Premiere: Hodera, First Things First

New Jersey quartet Hodera have honed their heartland chops over the course of two full length releases, striking a balance between vibrant indie-rock with rough-hewn Americana. It’s a delicate dance of influences that comes across as both confessional and universal.

First Things First could certainly be construed as a meditation on love, but quickly evolves into a dissertation on the growing pains of maturity, offering up lonesome musings that rise with the buoyancy of a late-night bar hop and settle as mercilessly as an early morning hangover. Lyrics often cascade over the nuanced fingerpicking with little regard for meter or structure, which often adds to their raw poignancy, resounding with an off the cuff, extempore thud to the heart.

Contrary to the seemingly unrehearsed impression one gets from the recordings, band spearhead Matthew Smith shares, “We’ve been working on this record for over 2 years now. Parts of it have been re-recorded like 3 times. This album is all about the angst and pain of growing up and becoming an adult; heart break, depression, addiction and the search for purpose and direction.”

“The main difference between our record and all the other records that traverse this theme, the one thing we have that no one else has, is our own personal experience. So, we really tried not to hold anything back on this record. It’s the whole detailed story, not vague pop lyrics that everyone can easily relate to. We feel by sharing openly and honestly that others will be able to connect and identify on a deeper level, and therefore feel less alone in their own struggles. Our mission is for these songs to be someone’s best friend when no one else is there to tell them it’s going to be okay, the way our favorite artists were, and continue to be, there for us.”

Hodera’s First Things First arrives in stores Friday, October 20, 2017—on vinyl. Preorder it here.

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