Album Notes - Hether - Sticky Thumb

Album Notes - Hether - Sticky Thumb

February 16, 2021

In the wrong context, following H with ether sounds like either a flight to the heavens or a shortcut to the grave. But on Sticky Thumb, Hether supplies a 28-minute trip to lo-fi pop psychedelia. At this point it's worth noting that Hether is the solo project of Paul Castelluzzo, a twentysomething who has done everything from serving as a hired gun bar scene jazz guitarist to playing pentecostal churches. Sticky Thumb is his second EP under the moniker used as "a compilation of sounds based around my experience with love and loss." That characterization may induce a "yeah, you and every other artist" reaction. So too might the initial listen through this self-described "demo EP." But Castelluzzo doesn't overthink and uses that charm to his advantage on a recording that largely took place within a single day. The opener serves as an outlier, dutifully designated as "acoustic." The subsequent seven tunes emerge as something of a Whitney meets Unknown Mortal Orchestra excursion, if the former were amped up and the latter toned down. Two EPs into his solo career, Castelluzzo appears comfortable heading into the future propelled on waves of the past.