Since releasing their debut full-length Con Law in 2009, Generationals have consistently delivered pop hooks shone through a melancholic prism. 2013’s Heza brings the band to Polyvinyl and along with the label change, comes a subtle but significant sonic shift.
Recorded in phases at Public Hifi in Austin, producer Daniel Black’s Bent Black studio in D.C., and the band’s hometown of New Orleans, Heza finds Generationals more satisfied in writing songs that breathe and grow over time. These songs show restraint, with hooks developing in the spaces between sounds. The attention to rhythms and textures reveals a more patient band — one willing to dig for deeper gems than in their previous work. Tracks like “You Got Me” and “Put a Light On” use minimalist electronic frameworks to match the intensity of more straightforward guitarwork on “Spinoza” and “I Never Know,” all of them paying more attention to layers and textures than to forcing the hook. On Heza, Generationals aren’t so much shedding their old skin as growing more comfortable in the one they’ve always inhabited.