Kathleen Lovito

Just a month or so back, AU‰’s music mongers flocked to the Tavern to drool over Girlpool‰’s honest lyrics and swoon over Frankie Cosmos‰’ psychedelic sweater at WVAU‰’s fall Capital Punishment show, but few expected to be blown away by the four-piece that led the pack: Big Hush.

Big Hush may be local in scope (with three-quarters of the band working one the same stretch of Connecticut Avenue NW that AU students frequent for personal pizzas, kombucha on tap, and fresh-brewed coffee), but their sound transcends predictable genre tags. This is due, in part, to their shirking of the typical band dynamic. By sharing vocals and accepting notes and lyrics written by each member of the four-piece, Big Hush has kept its releases atmospheric yet intricately unique.

The labels of “dream-pop‰” or “shoegaze‰” are often slapped onto Big Hush, but it‰’s members aren‰’t sure they fit. As guitarist Owen Wuerker explained in an interview with Brightest Young Things, “a lot of shoegaze that I hear tends to focus on atmosphere and texture,… but our songs are lyric driven, and we try to put the words front and center, which to me is very unshoegaze.‰” Instead, the band draws inspiration from My Bloody Valentine and plays homage to the ‰80s Irish rockers with woozy tones, contrasts of hard and soft, and the kind of reverb that effortlessly smashes through the pungent aroma of infamous Tavern Tenders.

But, if you‰’re to indulge in the band‰’s steal-wool guitars and angsty vocals, I suggest picking a venue that‰’s, well, a little less fluorescently lit than the Tav. Instead, opt for an accompaniment of the soft glow of string lights, the delicate musk of lotus incense, a bottle or two of your best friend‰’s mediocre home-brewed IPA.