Hut Hut’s weird-pop sensibilities consider timeworn themes of loneliness and ageing in completely new ways.
Out in the wilds of Reddit is r/BrandNewSentence, a subreddit committed to alerting the world about sentences that have, in all likelihood, never been written before in history. Some recent examples: “Whoever coined the term coined the term coined the term coined the term” and “Things getting heated in the Pinocchio fandom.” Most of these sentences are coming from burnt-out and extremely-online youth, and Hut Hut’s Hut Hut Hut feels like a book’s worth of new sentences from similarly burnt-out musicians. That there? That was probably a brand new sentence.
There’s something admirable about the way Hut Hut (four-fifths of the now-defunct Boats) takes a barrage of tones and moods and smashes them together into something that can only be created from the fragments. Case in point is the way vocalist Mat Klachefsky can switch from a frantic and high-pitched vocal style to a dramatic baritone in the middle of a sentence. Only in songs where everything feels woozy but also somehow right does this kind of decision make sense. By all accounts, Hut Hut is a continuation of Boats’ weird-pop sensibilities, and it’s a pleasure to consider timeworn themes of loneliness and ageing in completely new ways.
At various times Hut Hut Hut takes the form of grunge, punk, and off-kilter pop, seemingly to suit Klachefsky’s ever-changing mood. Certain songs so perfectly encapsulate an indescribable feeling of existential angst that singing “Tell the snakes and alligators we’ll meet up with them later” and “Tell the wind and the sea we’re all 23” are the only words that will do. If you’re as sick of convoluted bullshit as Hut Hut clearly is, you’ll love “Secret Handshake”: “There is no actual conspiracy/There’s only people dumb as you and me.”
There are plenty of new sentences that always seem to arise from life’s unfortunate developments. “I Am Also a Magician” channels this existential malaise with yelled statements that are both tragic and darkly hilarious. After grim thoughts on being married and having a new job we get “I’m a magician and I just fell down the stairs.” Many have dealt with being broke and/or having a bug-infested apartment, but Klachefsky combines these two ideas on “Bedbug Christmas” in an unexpected way: “I spent all my money on loans and laundry and hydramethylnon.”
In theory, singing about falling in love with a kitchen appliance, graduates trying to find their own mortarboards in a sea of tossed mortarboards, and giving kids bad haircuts then selling those kids to the state should not make for fun listening, but it all just works. Perhaps off-kilter pop is the purest way to express the previously inexpressible; it’s only when we colour outside the lines, or try to create brand new sentences, that all boundaries and preconceived notions fade and are replaced with inner truths.