Western Massachusetts isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of alternative music, but the sleepy area boasts a surprising musical lineage as the birthplace of indie rock icons like Dinosaur Jr, to more recent headliners like Speedy Ortiz and Potty Mouth. Easthampton’s Kindling are part of this insular environment that seems to breed a special kind of ambitious individualism: a drive to make bold music that is at once massively appealing and uncompromisingly distinct. Now, with their sophomore full length, Hush, Kindling are poised to continue this tradition and make a particularly loud impression of their own.
Started as the recording project of Stephen Pierce and Gretchen Williams in 2014, Kindling evolved into a full-fledged band through a full-length and a prolific series of EPs that would hone their dreamy lo-fi beginnings into a muscular wall of sound. While much of Kindling’s work could be given the shoegaze tag, the band always hinted at something broader and more immediate amongst the fuzz. Now with Hush the band has achieved a unique blend of crushing guitars and undeniable melodies that is sure to appeal to not just shoegaze fans, but to anyone who has a taste for towering alternative rock.