Spotlight

Hideout

“Their songs are open and melodic — fitting somewhere between the Shins and Bright Eyes — with echo-y production, rich acoustic guitars, and tight, shimmering harmonies. This is affable, almost homey, music, like a new friend who you feel like you’ve known your entire life.” – Nylon Magazine

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When you’re on the road touring non-stop there’s hardly a second in the day that you aren’t doing something. This is what Gabe Rodriguez learned on tour with Cults over the past year or so—that the biggest luxury isn’t a warm bed or clean socks, but time alone. While crossing the globe Rodriguez was preparing himself for that moment where he would have time to himself, and decided early on what he would do—write his own record. This was not entirely new: Rodriguez is a life-long musician, and had long been spending his spare moments playing music in his hometown of San Diego with longtime friend and fellow musician Cory Stier. It was only when his time came at such a high premium, however, that Rodriguez decided to develop the product of that songwriting into a musical project, aptly named Hideout.

“When you’re hiding away from everything, instead of hanging out with your friends,” says Rodriguez, “there’s a very specific atmosphere that comes from being alone, taking a breath, being like, you’re ok, and then doing something for yourself.” It’s satisfaction and contentment, and it’s reflected in more than one facet of Hideout’s songs. Hideout takes it’s queues from some of the most iconic songwriters of any generation—from Elvis to David Bowie—and from the way that they used every song to create a complete thought, to represent a concrete feeling, emotion, or experience. In his songs, Rodriguez uses layered vocals and rich yet simple instrumental arrangements to represent the many opposing pieces of the psyche. He’s committed to telling the whole story of an experience, even as it changes over time.

All of the songs were written over the course of about six months. Because Rodriguez would write in stolen moments between Cults’ gigs, the songs went with him over weeks and days, and would change in meaning and substance as he travelled, picking them up and putting them down over and over. When these songs finally arrived in the studio, with Rodriguez and Stier fleshing them out, they would be whole landscapes of experiences, representing Rodriguez’s lyrical process over time, that reality were both dark and romantic, recalling Nick Cave.

“All I Want” features thick, sparkling vocals punctuated by Stier’s punchy drums and crashing cymbals, with a plaintive chorus that calls to mind the early love songs of The Beatles and the psychedelic sensibility of Yes. The song is yearning but not desperate, urgent but still open. After many months on the road, Hideout is, for Rodriguez and Stier, a chance to take full control of their music, and to create something uniquely their own. It won’t always be that way, however, as the band plans to stay in one place, for one long time, while writing and recording their next record. “[On the first record] the music is in the past tense,” Rodriguez says, “and so instead of being directly attached it’s an afterthought.” This contributes to the complete, fully realized nature of the songs, but, isn’t what the band will be forever. Rodriguez states, “The next record will be recorded in one place, at one time.” Until then, however, Hideout will revel in their escapism.