After eight years together, the duo of drummer Justin and guitarist Matt Faircloth, also known as The Houston Brothers, went on hiatus. The brothers stayed hidden over a year but have now returned with a new album and three new members under the moniker of The Houstons. Living in the band’s hometown of Charlotte for two years, I witnessed the live show of The Houston Brothers quite a few times and it was always an enjoyable time. The band has undergone a bit of an evolution over the last few years though. Starting out as an alt-country band, The Houstons have come full circle. Still leaves the alt-country behind in favor of a more streamlined indie pop approach.
With a backing band that now includes keyboards, bass and even strings, The Houstons sound instrumentally full for the first time on Still. The brothers and their new band sound rejuvenated. Still was recorded in Justin Faircloth’s home studio and it makes sense as the production is warm and intimate. The band’s subtle, inviting melodies easily sway the listener into their corner. Lyrically, The Houstons stay in the personal realm. Much of the material here addresses the brothers’ self-imposed hiatus. Still is a touching look into life and its many trials and tribulations. The album works as therapy and The Houstons seem to have been reborn with its creation. While we may not be able to leave our past completely behind, we can use it to better ourselves. With Still, The Houstons proves there is hope in new beginnings.