Notos by The Oh Hellos
Review by Sophie Minello
Notos is the greek god of wind. He brings storms to the long summer days with his graceful, powerful breezes. It can be said that The Oh Hellos produce similar winds with their music. If you close your eyes when listening to their new EP, Notos, you can basically feel this wind against your skin. You can breathe in the damp atmosphere and see the scenery around you.
The Oh Hellos consists sister and brother, Maggie and Tyler Health. They’ve been gracing the world with their music since 2011, releasing 2 LPs and 2 EPs since. This EP marks the first of 4 to come, each named after a Greek Mythological wind god.
It begins with 'On the Mountain Tall', Maggie’s voice floating into your ears. The song feels like the morning time, when the sun’s bright and wakes you up slowly. 'On the Mountain Tall' is an extremely fitting name, for it’s so easy to picture yourself on top of the world, taking in the scenery. A chorus of voices chimes in, singing, “I know you want me to be afraid / I know you want me to love you.”
Next is ‘Torches’, the first released track from the EP. It shows off The Oh Hello’s beautiful use of dynamics through their work, the voices and instruments dipping in and out. ‘Planetarium Stickers on a Bedroom Ceiling’ serves as an interlude, a simple and calming instrumental track that fades into ‘Constellations’.
‘Constellations’ is my personal favorite from the album. It holds the same calming presence as ‘Planetarium Stickers on a Bedroom Ceiling’, but in a difference sense. It’s presence feels like a flowing river, alive and at peace. Tyler and Maggie’s voices compliment each other in such a natural way, further adding to the freeing feeling of the song. The instruments and voices float away as the song reaches its end, making it sound fleeting in the most beautiful way.
With the title track, ‘Notos’, it’s evident how The Oh Hellos are storytellers as much as songwriters. Here, they sing about the storms and winds that Notos brings. This track consists of such strong, yet soft voices, that command your attention. ‘Notos’ snaps into ‘Mandatory Evac / Counting Cars’, the second instrumental track on the EP, serving as an outro to the title track. Similar to the rest of the songs, there is such a powerful nature to it as the instruments build up and increase in volume. Somehow, Maggie and Tyler are always able to create emotions through their music.
‘New River’ begins at a fast pace, ending the EP with an upbeat feel. Here, you’re running through the trees, the things around you are in sharp focus. At the chorus, you reach a clearing, and you can see the world from a new perspective. A choir of voices steps forth to dreamily sing, “Let it come down / Let it make in you a new river.” The EP ends with a song that sounds like a beginning, and rightfully so, since Notos is the first of 4 of these impactful collections of songs.
From start to finish, Notos is a powerful EP. The graceful vocals and soulful choirs pull you in and lock you there. The Oh Hellos are able to capture moments in their music. Be sure not to miss them in their upcoming winter/spring tour, dates found here.
Listen to Notos here.