The Brooklyn-born and based artist Huck self-released his self-titled debut album just in time for the new year. John Wolfe created the Huck moniker years ago, releasing viral tracks like "Without You" and "Scrimmage" as singles. Both tracks are featured on the album, which shows a cross-section of the artist's strengths with nods to both the jazzy rock and 8-bit sounds that have come to define his style. Over the summer, he also announced a management partnership with the New York City label Invertebrate.
The album begins with "Hello," a new track that welcomes a more experimental territory than previous singles. A slow and steady beat kicks off the short introductory track, leading into a shaky voice shouting "John." Wolfe then begins crooning the lines "never met a person quite like you before" and "whisper sweet nothings until I hit the floor." The simple refrains build upon each other, and by the end are almost dripping with a surreality akin to intoxication.
A completely different side of the Huck project appears on "Nunca Más," one of the only tracks that abandons the electronic sounds that Wolfe has become known for. Wolfe's vocals are at his best on the neo-soul song, when he is shouting through the chorus line "come sit close to me" with a desperation and desire that are palpable. A similar turn towards rock is taken on album-closer "Brew Paltz," an ode to his alma mater SUNY New Paltz that leaves you with an incomparable sense of belonging. There's no sense "you had to be there," because Huck has managed to bring you to the forefront of every moment he is singing about.
Listening to this album is like sitting by the old (and possibly up-to-regulation) radiator in your first apartment, adjusting to the cold at first only to eventually become enveloped in an all-encompassing warmth. It's fresh and fun, while also paying homage to older sounds and influences. And maybe this will change with the seasons, but for now, that's what makes it the perfect winter album for cold and grumpy New Yorkers.