The Hollow Ends is a folk-rock band fronted by Saint Louis-based songwriter Zachary Schwartz. Mixing socially conscious lyrics with anthemic choruses and roots/Americana sounds with punk rock energy, The Hollow Ends deliver a varied but cohesive and compelling musical package. Schwartz moves seamlessly between punchy, driven punk reminiscent of Bad Religion or Pennywise, and gorgeously arranged folk and roots music blanketed in delicate harmonies that bring to mind Brown Bird, Shakey Graves, or Avett Brothers. Schwartz started The Hollow Ends alone in the summer of 2014, occasionally sharing Saint Louis stages with other musicians from near and far. Through adding a kick drum and tambourine, rehashing old songs and developing new material, a sound eventually took shape.
Schwartz started The Hollow Ends alone in the summer of 2014, occasionally sharing Saint Louis stages with other musicians from near and far. Through adding a kick drum and tambourine, rehashing old songs and developing new material, a sound eventually took shape. In this current musical moment monopolized by bands emptily boasting ‘shoegaze elements’ and peddling 80s throwback dream-pop, The Hollow Ends is a breath of fresh air. To be sure, the basic elements of a Hollow Ends song—soaring vocal harmonies, social conscious lyrics, pounding drums, and distorted hollow-body guitar—are not new. Certainly upbeat, stomp-clap folk has reasserted itself cyclically in popular music over the last few years. The unique offering of The Hollow Ends, however, is a marriage of grit with precision: Schwartz manages to make flawless vocal performances and perfectly executed, thoughtful arrangements come alive with a moving, gritty sincerity communicated to equal effect in songs fast and slow.
This is on full display in the newest Hollow Ends release, Bears In Mind. Through the frantic kick drum in Close To Flames, the subdued violin drone and operatic harmonies in City Lights, the wild, carnival-like arrangements that punctuate The Air, and the minimal instrumentals that provide context for the massive vocal performance in Ibex Fights, runs those common threads of grit and precision that make The Hollow Ends such a delight to listen to. Bears In Mind will surely stay within the regular album rotation of any discerning music fan lucky enough to come across it.
-James Ikeda, AKA The Michael Character