Howth is pronounced “Hao-th” with four or five exclamation marks— don’t embarrass yourself.
Howth came together as a group of friends bringing into the world a minimalistic psychedelia. Finding their start in 2011, they recorded their self-titled album Howth. After some reshuffling of its members in 2015, Carl Creighton still sits at its core leading the charge.
Tomorrow, you can catch them playing at (le) poisson rouge in New York.
“Leonardo” is one piece of a much larger puzzle of creative works from the group. They’ve done a live-score for their movie — Trashy Milky Nothing Town (it’s about ninja turtles). You can grab the album/soundtrack on their Bandcamp.
The song means a lot to Carl Creighton, being written about Leonardo being fatherless and motherless.
“Leonardo” begins in a genuinely experimental, avant-garde focus before it begins its ascent into your heart — as by this point, it has already taken over your attention. Each individual minute has a different story than the other. Too easily, I got lost in this masterpiece.
This is a ballad, a progression, an accomplishment in artistic creation. Dripping in passion, grit, and feverish creative direction, the first listen to “Leonardo” is enlightening to a very real degree. After listening that first time, you know that you’ve listened to something special.
In the course of my first listen, the sense of urgency to share what Howth had created was joyously irresistible. No purer of an inspiration could be found but one of desperation, helplessness, and despair. The story being told through the music is a different plane of existence to what often finds its way to popularity.
The patience and immersion it takes to connect with the world that Howth constructs within “Leonardo” takes a special dedication that most pass on investing in their search for instant gratification. It’s even fair to say this song won’t easily find its way onto the radio. But damned be me if I don’t make an effort to share this masterwork with those willing to appreciate it alongside myself. 5/5.