I had my television on mute as the news played out the events of the day and as I began listening to To A Loved One, the sophomore release from Denver’s Hello Kavita. It was definitely a ying and yang experience, flipping from the flurry of Red Tag sales pushing spending for the holidays as the languid and liquid melody of “Colorado” trickled delicate guitar droplets into my ears (and I couldn’t help but laugh a bit at the line, “California had its day.” Boy, ain’t that the truth).
The contrast continued with contemplative piano, swaying strings, and the slow dance of “This May Be Over Someday,” showing signs of optimism of what could still be, as the glowing box focused in on talking heads arguing over sending U.S. men and women in force to another Middle East country to fight the good fight. Ironically, “May it’s the last time to make amends…” soon followed, floating in time as the television media shot daggers at Tiger Woods and all his imperfections.
Every song, from front to back, on To A Loved One was the calm within this storm we call life right now.
Made up of a bevy of multifaceted talent, the group of musician men in Hello Kavita has definitely found solid ground in this collaborative project. Each member has been or is currently involved in other bands, from The Fray and Flobots, to Achille Lauro, and the breadth of those other influences contribute to the musical and lyrical depth of the album.
While maintaining that constant string of loveliness Hello Kavita embodies and Corey Teruya’s heartfelt, orchestration expands from blissful pop in “Sunday (It’s a Chrome Tide), to the dusty road of “Motion in the Sun,” to the retro tides of “OK,” showing hints of the Beatles meets Jackson Brown jamming out on the set of a Coca-Cola commercial where everyone’s holding hands in a big green field.
The band and Ian Hlatky, a well-known producer who’s had his hand in a number of musical projects in Denver, were going for a more vintage sound, opting for analog versus digital. The result is, from song to song, a warmth, a depth which accentuates the wonderfulness coming out of the speakers. This is the way, the only way, you would want to experience To A Loved One, in the way you would if you were front and center at one of their shows.
You’ll get the opportunity to do just that when Hello Kavita opens for Tab Benoit Friday, December 4 at the Gothic Theatre.
If you’re wondering what to get one of your loved ones this holiday season, I would highly recommend picking up this album versus something boring and lame, like slippers or a gift card from Starbucks.