Nora Murphy Hughes of Portland band Hollow Sidewalks is eight months alcohol-free. She says this transformation in her life is reflected on her band’s new record, Year of the Fieldmouse.
“Last year, when we did our first album, I was pretty fucked up — drinking and drugs,” Hughes explains. “It’s definitely a brighter, happier record than the last one. Overall there’s a more optimistic tone.”
Hollow Sidewalks’ sophomore effort won’t be officially released on vinyl until this winter, though Hughes says the band will sell a limited release of handmade copies at their first-ever show in Eugene.
Listen to Fieldmouse’s leadoff single “Volcano” and you’ll hear a slightly fuzzy and insanely catchy update on ’80s-era three-chord post-punk and psychedelic music. A playfully romantic yet punk-rock-rooted guitar riff mixes with Hughes’ sultry, whiskey-and-smokes drawl like a bad decision you won’t regret making.
Hughes says her band is highly influenced by British pop music. “Definitely Echo and The Bunnymen, definitely the Mad-chester scene,” she says. “Love The Smiths.”
“I think we play rock ‘n’ roll in all of its varieties,” she adds. “But most often we’re post-punk psychedelic music.”
Hollow Sidewalks plays with Eugene’s The Critical Shakes and Steel Kitty 9 pm Wednesday, June 1, at Old Nick’s; FREE, 21-plus.