Garret Hobba journeys through illness and recovery on fourth LP
Midway through recording this fourth full-length, The Soft Hills’ Garret Hobba fell ill from respiratory problems due to mould in his Seattle bedroom. After that serious health scare, he headed to California to recuperate, and it’s there that ‘Departure’ was finished. Unsurprisingly, that event is prevalent in these songs, notably in the lyrics of claustrophobic opener ‘Golden Hour’ (“//Choking while you’re living/The pressure’s closing in//”) and the cold, gloomy, minimalistic electro-indie of ‘The Fold’ and ‘White Queen’. But there are glimpses of his recovery too, in the lilting California psych-folk of ‘Blue Night’ and the warm, if wistful, Sparklehorse-esque fuzz of ‘Belly Of A Whale’. Almost dying must have been terrifying, but Hobba should be overjoyed that this came out of it.