There are a lot of rock songs written for girls. Martha, Eleanor, Jude, Lucy & Prudence all got songs written for them – and all from the same band. Hard-to-get love interest as muse may be a trope, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be engaging. ‘Sophie’ by Runaway Hounds is a winner.
The four-piece hail from Wolverhampton, the city that gave us 1/5 of One Direction, something the rest of us are still reeling from. Comparatively Runaway Hounds play energetic and hard hitting indie rock and seem unlikely to take any inspiration therefrom. Besides, they’re down one member.
‘Sophie’ is immediately recognisable to fans of the hard-edged rock sound that sprung up in the ascendance of Arctic Monkeys.
At a young age the Hounds have impressive musicality. The playing is tight, if familiar – spindly riff, four-on-the-floor stomp tick over nicely. The extended bridge allows each performer a chance to up their game – the riff intensifying, bolstered by some tasty drum rolls – before dovetailing into an enjoyable outro.
Lead singer Owen has range and an expressive style that fits the tune perfectly. Where ‘Sophie’ breaks from type is in the writing. It’s a surprisingly melancholic tune, and not even the play-desperation that most indie rock is based on. ‘Sophie’ has a washed out, despairing quality suggesting an unexpected depth.
‘Sophie’ announces another fantastic young British band, and yet another exciting act (the third we’ve covered in as many months) to come out of the West Midlands. What is going on down there? I don’t know, but keep it coming.