Humility can translate into profound songwriting sometimes, and if you’re not quite clear what I’m talking about, I recommend listening to the new single from The Dirty Moogs, “Hot Moms,” and checking out its music video as well. While “Hot Moms” has a lot in common with the wit and unyielding liberal aesthetic of a retro alternative rock movement, its conceptualism and sonic modernity put it more in the frame of contemporary indie pop than anything else – leaving its audience free to ponder the hybridity of its sound alongside the meaning of its lyrics. It’s another chilling entry in the story of Jared Hallock’s music, and one I’m rather addicted to this month.
Tonally speaking, this is probably the most provocative single I’ve listened to in a while. It isn’t over the top with its lyrical theatrics, nor even all the virtuosic when it comes to the arrangement of the instruments, but the color we’re getting out of the melodies – especially closer to the chorus of the song – comes in second to none this winter. This is detail-oriented mixing, but it’s also a fine example of putting the integrity of your sound well ahead of the compositional ego-stroking some would prioritize above everything else.
This production quality is downright dreamy in my opinion, and I think this is largely because Hallock wasn’t overthinking the concept for “Hot Moms” when he started recording it. There could have been another layer of synth play or even a lurid scratching guitar on the other side of the chorus, but instead the atmospheric aesthetic takes the place of any would-be frills, jettisoning us away from the predictable and into the arms of a powerful songwriter in Hallock, who is really flexing in this performance like few others in his scene have this year.
“Hot Moms” is not for all tastes, but those who are digging an alternative to the mainstream pop beat are going to likely consider both it and its creator just what 2022 needed to get off on the right foot. There’s a lot of experimentation on the indie circuit in and outside of the United States at the moment, but not all of it has been created equal. While the amateurs are still grasping for a core narrative in their development, the pros like Jared Hallock’s The Dirty Moogs are raising the bar for a new generation (and sounding pretty good in the process)