CHARLIE MARTIN and WILL TAYLOR met at a baseball game while on tour drumming for different bands. Back home in Austin, the two Texas natives discovered both held batches of compatible songs, intended for solo projects. They merged as HOVVDY instead. Brooklyn label Double Double Whammy reissued the band’s debut album Taster in 2017 (originally released by Sports Day Records), followed by Cranberry in 2018. The sophomore work solidified the group’s sturdy guitar strums and rhythmic instincts, enveloped in nostalgic glow. Third LP Heavy Lifter finds new dimensions in the Hovvdy soundscape. For Heavy Lifter , the duo worked with producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist BEN LITTLEJOHN. Throughout fall 2018, the team built out the album in makeshift home studios around Texas. Both singers’ voices cut through more decisively than ever, carried by vivid storytelling and production eccentricities. Breaking from the confines of guitar-based slowcore, pop and hip-hop influences expand Hovvdy’s established framework. Propulsive, straightforward hooks usher in autotuned tweaks, chugging beats and genre exploration. By pulling apart slightly, Charlie and Will step into new spaces on Heavy Lifter. Always in sync, it’s a balanced effort. LP pressed on orange vinyl.