Hot Mud – ‘Rehab Rock’

The debut album from Ottawa-based solo artist Hot Mud, Rehab Rock struts a consistently hooky rock and pop intertwining, featuring lyrics detailing a period of recovery from addiction. The artist recorded the album entirely by himself whilst staying at the Sobriety House Treatment Facility in Ottawa, Canada; thus, its themes take inspiration from the early stages of recovery from addiction.

“Where The Bad Kids Go” showcases the project’s melodic versatility to kick things off. Lush acoustics rise into a rock-forward invigoration as heavier guitars envelop. Twinkling keys and sparse percussion complement the initial vocal push thereafter; the opening track excels in its seamless shifts between contemplative pit-pattering and anthemic, hooky expanses. “Learning To Be Lonely” follows it up, moving between bass-heavy suaveness and illuminated synth-laden hookiness, reminding fondly of Future Islands with the fervent vocals and piano/synth glistening.

Another standout single, “Birthday In Rehab” proves hypnotic in its caressing vocal layers, warming acoustics, and effervescent keys. “Now I celebrate in recovery,” the vocals admit, persevering through tragedy and moving behind the strippers, drugs, booze, and various triggers. The “layer cake with mixed-up feelings,” line captures the complexities of recovery, with the “give me a hug,” hook enamoring with a oddball-pop charm reminiscent of Magnetic Fields. A tropical-forward “this is my year,” frolicking enamors further. Rehab Rock touts an abundance of quality tracks with memorably melodic results alongside compelling perspectives of recovery, marking a thorough success from Hot Mud.

“Birthday In Rehab” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

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

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