"It's a play on words," the members of Easthampton band Hex Lovers profess when pressed about their name. "Think 'ex-lovers.' We just kind of stumbled on it after running through about a dozen other names that the Internet revealed had already been taken by bands from the middle of North Dakota or wherever. It's a subtle and mysterious name, kind of like us."
Forming only a few months ago in May, Hex Lovers are definitely mysterious. In fact, members refer to themselves by first name only—Eric (guitar, vocals), Erika (bass) David (guitar) and Donovan (drums). However, what isn't so mysterious is the quartet's interpretation of indie genres like noise-rock and fuzz pop.
At their best moments, tracks like "We Go On" and "Little Ghost" recall the qualities seen in such alternative forerunners as The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and The Fall.
The group says, "Someone told us that we sounded like Bad Moon Rising-era Sonic Youth meets Safari-era Breeders, which we liked a lot, whether or not that's actually true. There's some elements of blissed-out shoegaze noise, the fuzzy melodicism of '90s indie rock and the minimal, repetitive side of '70s post-punk. And since that's a mouthful, we've just been calling ourselves pizzawave. But no cheese for Erika, because she's vegan. It's our one-band genre—death to false pizzawave."
The members of Hex Lovers don't employ a traditional songwriting process. Instead, the band records every time it get together to practice, picking out the best bits after each session to develop further.
One of these polished bits has already been chosen for inclusion on a cassette compilation for the Athens, Ga.-based label Happy Happy Birthday to Me, to be released this summer. And Hex Lovers also hope to have a full-length cassette available in the near future. In the meantime, the group is concentrating on performing live shows.
After participating in a benefit show organized by Permanent Wave Boston to raise money for the legal defense fund of Pussy Riot, a Russian feminist punk band who have been jailed for their opposition to the Russian government, Hex Lovers will make their next local appearance at the Flywheel on Aug.14, along with Deep Time from Austin, Texas and Banditas from Boston.
As for what's next after that gig, even the band isn't sure. But Hex Lovers do have some simple advice they'd like to leave with music fans in the Pioneer Valley.
"Go to more local shows, the group says. "Because heaven knows, there's dozens of good ones happening all the time. If you stop going they'll stop happening, and we don't want that."
Hex Lovers perform Aug. 14. The Flywheel, 43 Main St., Easthampton, (413) 527-9800, flywheelarts.org. For more information on Hex Lovers, please visitfacebook.com/HexLovers and hhexlovers.bandcamp.com.