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Photo Credit: Melissa Kagerer
There are those for whom music is a dalliance, a distraction from the mundane. Then there are those that can’t exist free of melody for even a moment. Music is the fabric from which they stitch together their reality, sanity, and livelihood. We call these chosen few “lifers”.
Seattle, WA’s Hutchie – comprised of avowed lifers Michelle Pannell (Le Saboteur), Kyle Latham (Ol’ Doris), and Doug Finley (BUGS) – crafts a sound that wraps flecks of pop and Americana around a core built on punk rock sensibilities. Their hook-filled, exceedingly catchy, and profoundly touching music balances poignant lyrical vignettes with sing-along choruses. Today, Big Takeover is hosting an exclusive premiere of their new LP Some Other Way (out July 15th via Moodkiller Records).
Hutchie formed in 2021 when Pannell found the seams of her fabric ripping; the drummer of Le Saboteur had moved back to San Diego. “I was disappointed and needed to feel seen,” explains Pannell, “so I reached out to Kyle because I knew he was someone like me, who had to write songs to be okay.” Latham and Finley had been playing together occasionally, and when they all ended up in the same room things just absolutely clicked.
Written mainly between the bands two practice spaces at the Old Rainier Brewery and old Josephine building in Seattle, Some Other Way draws on the timeless imagery of the rock ‘n’ roll outcast; subjects range from long-distance heartbreak (“Seat Next 2 U”), feeling alienated from the escalating political discourse (“Out Here”), witnessing a friend’s spiral into drug abuse (“The Summer Your Dog Died”), and looking back at a life lived “on the run” (“Small Fish in a Small Pond”). “I try to draw from emotions and situations that I know other people can relate to” explains Pannell. “This is a record full of disappointment, sadness, addiction, and isolation, sure. But’s that’s balanced against an equal dose of love, lust and hopefulness.”
Ultimately, Hutchie just want people to feel less alone. That’s where the hooks come in – these songs stick with you. “This band was formed during the pandemic and has been a cathartic experience” says Pannell. “All of these emotions are all things that people are experiencing right now. I hope others find reprieve in knowing we feel the same.”
Exclusive quote from Michelle Pannell:
“I think ultimately with this album we just wanted to really hone in on our ability to write sticky-sweet hooks that really stick with you throughout the day. There are three members and all three of us are songwriters in this band, so we really focused on playing to our strength of combined songwriting. It can be difficult as musicians not to over-complicate while writing because you naturally wan’t to show off your abilities. I think we succeeded in doing what was right for the songs themselves and not our egos on this album. I get the satisfaction of people telling me which of our songs got stuck in their heads after the shows – sometimes for days at a time – that’s incredible to me!”
Listen below, and if you dig the sounds please consider pre-ordering the record via Bandcamp.