Philadelphia’s Howlish are an ambient / alternative that has been playing together since 2014 when, still a very young band, released their debut EP “Open House”. Since that time, the quartet of Mark Watter – vocals/guitar, Karl Germanovich- bass, Taylor Cullen – drums and Brendan Sweeney – lead guitar have been making a name for themselves with shows up and down the East Coast. (a.k.a. The Best Coast) With their sophomore release “Outer” due out any day now on “Sniffling Indie Kids”. I was able to scoop up a copy to get a listen to what the future holds for Howlish, Sniffling Indie Kids and the rest of this big, flat world.
On their followup “Outer” Howlish create a spacious and atmospheric eight song gem. Moving slowly, though not without purpose with both skill and grace. The opener “Woods” moves along at a slugs pace, infiltrating the senses with it’s nurturing simplicity and dreamlike vibe. “Black Ice”, not to be confused or even seen on the same iceberg as AC/DC’s samely titled album and song follows with it’s shoe gaze meets dream pop leanings. Seemlessly solidifying “Outer’s” statement of purpose. There’s a sense of restraint throughout that has the listener wonder if these whispers are just heavily guarded screams waiting to emerge from their cocoons. My personal favorite “Fader” seems to beg the question in an even deeper sense with it’s engaging guitar eccentricities. “Outer” lifted this listener up in more ways then one. I’m glad I took the ride. J.D.