Like the ever-increasing circles it takes its name from, “Ripple”, the first single from St. John’s Hullo, starts small and expands. Dreamy, lo-fi synths settle into a mild tempo, forming small peaks that support nineteen-year-old Nicholas Bendzsa’s bobbing vocals. Bendzsa is Hullo’s sole proprietor, but he builds music with so many layers and intricacies that it would be an injustice to label “Ripple” bedroom pop. Which is interesting, because Bendzsda started releasing music under the name Dormitories. The name change is apt. Hullo’s sound isn’t just lounging in the bedroom; it’s frolicking in the yard, tinkering in the garage, and chilling in the basement all at the same time. It’s also climbing onto the roof, laying down, and looking up at the clouds, taking inspiration from their fluffy randomness. What starts as one small ripple, rolls out into waves.
by Jim Di Gioia
June 11, 2019
CoFounder at DOMINIONATED
Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.