The Hush Sound

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the lack of updates this week. I just moved into college and it’s been hectic (and insanely enjoyable) since Saturday. This will not be the usual though, as this should be the only week where updates are condensed. Expect the usual when Monday rolls around and classes actually begin, as I still believe that my relocation to DC will provide this site with a boatload of opportunities. After all, I was previously located in the dull area of suburban New Jersey. Anyway, one of several new bands I have been listening to lately has been one that has been generating quite a bit of hype since their debut in 2005. Previously, my discovery of new music was limited to submissions and searches on my own time. The move has allowed me to connect with some great people, a handful of which have a very commendable taste in music. Not to bash my previous town, but the tastes there were limited to an aggravating extent. A great gal by the name of Melyssa introduced me to The Hush Sound, a group she deemed “obscure enough” to appear on the site. And though it is true that The Hush Sound have been gathering enough steam to become one of the breakthrough acts of the year lately, the music certainly warrants the attention.

The roots of The Hush Sound trace back as early as middle school for its founding members. Greta Salpeter was in 7th grade when she met Bob Morris, a high school student at the time. They found a personal connection in the field of music, with Morris being a skilled guitarist in several local rock bands in addition to Salpeter’s studies as a classical pianist. They eventually began writing songs and performing together, initiating The Hush Sound in late 2004 when they felt that their material was captivating enough to display. Bassist Chris Faller and drummer Darren Wilson, previously members of Until Sundown, joined shortly thereafter to complete the quartet. The recording of their debut album, So Sudden, commenced in March of 2005 and the album was released in October. Originally released without a label, it was re-released after The Hush Sound signed to Decaydance Records in 2006. The studio in which it was recorded in was later named after the album, illustrating how quickly success was arriving for the Chicago-based four-piece. The signing to Decaydance was spurred by the support of Panic at the Disco after Ryan Ross and Pete Wentz found “So Sudden” on Purevolume. This encouraged development for their second album, one that saw the group’s success arrive even more suddenly.

Like several other bands nowadays that have latched onto the youthful surge of emotive indie-rock, The Hush Sound caught the attention of Patrick Stump for the release of their second album, Like Vines. Joining the likes of Cobra Starship and Gym Class Heroes, Stump produced the sophomore effort in a display that was more demonstrative of cohesive and accessibly infectious indie-rock. The Hush Sound’s key-driven melodies were acclaimed by the likes of AbsolutePunk, selling over 60,000 copies in the process. The following months saw them tour with the likes of Rooney, Panic at the Disco, and the previously featured Murder by Death, all bands who offered an accessible formula within a style that remained unique to their intended audiences. Following the success of Like Vines, The Hush Sound returned to the studio for a third time with Goodbye Blues. Now with a substantial fan base under their belts, the album saw immediate success upon its release in March and debuted at #75 on the Billboard 200. The most dramatic stylistic transition found on the album is based around Salpeter’s vocal usage, as she serves as the lead vocalist on 9 of the 13 tracks. Consequently, the material appears more pop-oriented when compared to the angsty vocals of Morris. It serves as one of the several reasons why Goodbye Blues is the definitive stepping stone in the evolution of The Hush Sound’s sound.

While I do admit that the first two albums from The Hush Sound were not my cup of tea, Goodbye Blues has really impressed on several fronts. Apart from the commendable utilization of Salpeter’s vocals, the stylistic approach found on the album surpasses all previous attempts substantially. A track like “Honey” may have sounded out of place on an album such as Like Vines, but the outright cohesiveness of Goodbye Blues allows the seductively intertwined key and guitar-led melodies to flow freely without any qualms. The track serves as a perfect example of The Hush Sound’s approach, with Morris’ snarling guitar communicating audibly with Salpeter’s piano. The rhythm section is also impressive, especially for a band of The Hush Sound’s pop-driven nature. “You are my love,” Salpeter croons during the breezy chorus, an enjoyable contrast when compared to the budding verses. “Medicine Man” is a grittier and equally successful attempt, driven initially by the propulsion of Chris’ bass line. A flurry of keys then emerge over some top-notch production, courtesy of Kevin Augunas. About mid-way through, it transitions into a beautiful bridge in which Salpeter’s keys glide freely over consistently engineered production. They even prove with a ballad like “Hurricane” that high-powered anthems are not the only trick up their sleeve, as the emotions channeled by Salpeter are wholesome and pure over a delicate key-driven melody. For a band of their nature, The Hush Sound have made a remarkable transition with Goodbye Blues.


The Hush Sound – Honey



The Hush Sound – Hurricane



The Hush Sound – Medicine Man



Official Web Site



Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].


  1. I’ve been A hush Sound fan for a while

    It’s great to see them on here

    Also check out tracks Wine Red and We Intertwined

  2. thanks for featuring these guys. its great to see a music blog that covers mainly obscure stuff but still is not elitist at all

  3. I’m glad you decided to feature THS on this blog; I’ve been a fan for a couple years and am excited by any signs of them gaining more attention.

    Personally I strongly prefer their first two albums to Goodbye Blues, which was somewhat of a disappointment. It doesn’t really show any of the growth that people claim, and although it does have some variety in style, it adds nothing to their previous work and seems overall more radio-friendly.

    So Sudden is absolutely astounding as a debut, having the most raw sound of their albums and yet being completely polished. I’m amazed that they were able to create such a solid unification of the band’s diverse assets so shortly after they came together. It’s on that album more than the others that you really hear the influences of classical music, folk, pop-punk, rock ‘n’ roll, etc. come together so distinctly.

    Like Vines is easily one of my favorite albums of all time. I experience it much as a concept with its various fantastical imagery as well as the themes of tragedy and loss. I think it was where the band’s unique characteristics have so far reached their height in terms of poetry, blending of styles, vocal quality, all to create this piece of story-telling that strikes me as one of the most beautiful works of recording.

    Thanks for helping to promote such a great band, and I hope you will come to appreciate their full body of work.

    P.S. I think they were actually signed to Decaydance in 2005; Ryan Ross discovered them while writing Panic’s first album and brought them to Wentz’s attention.

  4. I have to agree with Grace. I don’t know if it was the fact that the band almost split up during the making of Goodbye Blues, or that they just got lazy, but this album was disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Hush Sound, but I miss their unique melodies and the variety of sounds they offered in their previous albums. I guess their lyrics are still good. I am looking forward to what they come up with in the future. Some of my all-time favorites by them have to be Lighthouse and a Dark Congregation.

  5. If I could describe The Hush Sound it would Probably be Sweet and Twisted. Their songs are so lovely and lyrical yet can be so depressing and creepy. I tend to find many hidden meanings and my thoughts could go on for miles for each line of each song. The profound imagery they set off as well is so transfixing.

    Really I liked all their albums but I’d have to say my favorite is they’re second release “Like Vines”. The songs are so uplifting and bright but they all seem to have some form of sadness or cruelty to each one of them. This album I thought was more fantasy like and whimsical. Now “Goodbye Blues” was more modern, more real-like problem related. While it still kept its crazy imagery and Wonderful beats and rhythms, it had less Story type songs and instead of took ones of relationships or describing someones life. I made really good personal Connections with Their latest but was utterly inspired when ever I listened to “So Sudden” or “Like Vines”. I never get tired of listening to any of their music.

    Thanks for writing about them and spreading the love. ^_^

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