Monday, August 8, 2016

Another exercise in bumming out: Stove

Ovlov released a near-perfect rock album three years ago and then they ended on a swell note so that Steve Hartlett could release an album under the name Stove, for which he played all instruments. That break was short-lived, and Ovlov is once again performing together. But drummer Theo Hartlett released an EP as Flat Swamp earlier this spring, and Stove, whose Is Stupider wasn't entirely separate from Steve Hartlett's songwriting for Ovlov, already has an EP out, less than a year after his debut album's release.

So that EP, a cassette release called Is a Toad in the Rain, is performed by a full band, and is partly acoustic, partly programmed beats, and 100 percent unexpectedly, ah, chill. It would be easy to say that Hartlett went from emulating one '90s act to another with this Stove release, but for a more contemporary point of compare-and-contrast, it would likely appeal to fans of that recent Warik debut.

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