On October 27th Ohio’s Hidden Places presented their latest batch of music. uh’s is their seven track collection of their soundscape, showcasing a band that plays a brand of exotic rock with no real restraint around their creative identity. While having a sense of linearity, “balaclava” showcases the band’s ability to take motifs and run with them through every infectious melody. The song’s pulsing rhythm section is tight knit, ready to burst with explosive rolls.
It’s this mathy sense of progression that finds the band’s grooves seeming larger than life, like possible dance routines envisioned through the trio’s instrumental prowess, evidenced on “okay” and the stellar opening of “entrance.” New Noise Magazine is pleased to bring forth the track by track of uh’s by the ever brilliant Hidden Places. Read below and listen to the record to find out how this vibrant release came to be.
This was the last track written for the record lyrically. I wanted to have the introduction to have very slight references to other songs on the record. This is where I found the words to start the narrative of growth that I aimed to tell through this tape. “It all ended where it started: In the heat of it all” is a reference to two songs on the tape—the last song, and the next song on the record, Balaclava, which references a traumatic experience I had while exploring religion in my early teens.
This is “the heat of it all,” which is a reference to the literal burning of a tarot card that happened when I used to be a part of a home-church in high school. It was a really terrifying experience and helped shape my attitudes and beliefs in regards to communion, organized religion, and politics. The first verse is in reference to an event that happened when I was around 5 or 6 when I was in vacation bible school and the instructors made the entire class believe that this mass of tape that was in the shape of a man was quite literally Jesus Christ. I told my parents about it and they never let me go back. After having this force as far separated from my life as possible, I felt like I was hiding behind some sort of mask that wouldn’t let me see reality as I currently know it, as well as internal problems with who I was.
This was the very first song that was written for the tape, word-wise, and music-wise. I refer to another mask on this track, and that mask is masculinity. There were some really terrible things that happened to someone who was extremely close to me at the time that I wrote this, and it made me question why that happened and how someone could feel entitled to another person’s emotional well-being. It made me question how I might have felt entitled to push people around (especially significant others) while growing up and how I could learn from that problematic behavior. When someone tells you to “be a man,” what does that mean? How does emasculation change that? That’s the theme I was exploring on this track specifically.
We accidentally wrote this song while impersonating Psycho Killer by Talking Heads, but we all looked at each other after writing the intro to the song and were like, “That was… actually kind of cool.” We decided to build on it, and the song was born. This track revolves around the fear of aging and the idea of rotting existentially. I wrote this song after microwaving a mug of water at my dad’s place so I could make some tea, but while doing that I noticed something that made me really sad. The last time I had used the microwave, I was a lot shorter. I never had to bend down and take anything out of the microwave. This made me feel old, even though I was 20 when I wrote this. With that hindsight, I knew I was just fine, hence the “I’ll be alright” which takes the track a close.
new age kitsch
After stating that, “I’ll be alright,” I felt the need to talk about growing. This track pertains specifically to the idea of growing out of a community that really began to annoy me. There were a lot of people that went to DIY gigs (and still do) to gain social capital and to seem more in-tune with trends than other people, even if all they did at the gig was talk or text throughout a band’s entire set. Essentially, this song is dedicated to the people who made me stop wearing Doc Martens, and to the people who made me distrust anyone who wears a Pinegrove hat (nothing against Pinegrove).
Since the last track was about growing out of a community/group of friends, I wanted to focus on progressing past something more personal for what came next. My view of relationships/romantic partners is that you’re essentially giving another person the ability to hurt you or to “push you around,” but you’re trusting in them not to do that. This track is about the moment(s) where I felt like I could do that better by myself, rather than rely on someone else to teach me humility. In layman’s terms; it’s a break-up song, except I didn’t want it to be whiny. I think I did a pretty decent job.
“It all ended where it started” was placed in the first song to hint what the last track would be about. Where did these abstract thoughts start? I decided to make the point at the time when I lost my virginity. I saw that as a loss of innocence when it happened because it didn’t really happen in an ideal way for me, while it was ideal for my partner at the time, it made me really anxious and somewhat of a wreck. The reference to driving to a river an hour away reference’s Alum Creek, even though it’s not a river. This is the point of the record where it, well, ends. As I ran out of words to say, I made it really clear at the end of the song that I was very much out of words, so from the beginning, I intended on ending the tape with the lyrics, “And that’s when I ran out of words.” The melody of the song was also written as a joke, kind of in the same vein that Okay was, but it resonated in a really strange way to me. I think all three of us knew that this was going to be the end of the tape, and it felt right to end it there. With that, that’s where I’ll end the description as well.