One Day I Will Always Love You
Hoops = Emily Yacina + Conor Oberst
Tucker White is the operator of local label Chthonic Records, which has put out a hefty chunk of albums by local artists over the years, he’s the voice behind Hoops. Hoops is a project often seen on the Chthonic Bandcamp page, having released multiple albums over several years. One such album is Honeysuckles, a lo-fi, acoustic drizzle of an album, with warm, staticky experiments in noise flickering in the background of White’s soft singing voice. Another is When Hoops Was Young: An Anthology, which chronicles songs from Hoops’ time in other past local bands, including Black Cum.
This album, One Day I Will Always Love You, is a meandering one, with White’s minimal plucking delivering a vintage twang that, coupled with the patina of his staple lo-fi recording, makes for a vignette into the life of a wandering romantic. “One Day I Will Always Love You” is a wobbly opener, White’s voice wavering up and down each line. He sings, “We don’t see soul to soul / Or even eye to eye / So why do I feel that I / Would like to see your eyes” in a morose, congested tone that indicates a sickliness of the heart. “Bicycle Built for Two” is a little ditty for wooing a woman whom White seems to consider too good for him. He sings, “It won’t be a stylish marriage,” but goes on to croon about how sweet she’d look on a bicycle built for two. The whole thing plays out like the plot of a black-and-white film from the ’30s, when simple hopes and dreams were also quiet songs in the night.
The album goes on in this way, White seeming to observe heartache and romance from a comfortable distance, reflecting on it the way the wry jester would in a romantic comedy. One song stands apart—“Light as a Breeze,”—and it stands out because it turns out to be a Leonard Cohen cover. It’s a dour, poetic-sounding cover, and fits right into the lineup. With his spare guitar playing and cliché-riddled lyricism (“Come on; let’s get lost in the city / Let your dear heart lead the way”), each song sounds like the observations of someone either caught up in daydreams of what his life could be, or reminiscing over foggy, long-gone times. At first, it all feels a little corny, but if White’s other often goofy, playful works are taken into account, it seems like maybe that’s the point. –Erin Moore