Forgotify: Wolf Call Boogie / Harmonica Jam by Hot Shot Love Review

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Forgotify prides itself in matching Spotify users with songs that have zero listens on the streaming service, and I was eager to see what it had in store for me.

Going into this project (an experiment, if I may call it so), I did not expect 1950s southern blues to be the first thing I hear. I didn’t count on any high-quality music, which was perhaps erroneous on my part. I expected music in languages other than English, or home-produced rap, or rock – anything but a blast from the past. Forgotify decided that the album I needed to hear was Wolf Call Boogie / Harmonica Jam by Hot Shot Love, recorded in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950s. The EP is rather short, comprising only two songs, recorded and re-mastered with care.

“Wolf Call Boogie” is harmonica music, unironically my favourite kind of music. The song sounds like nothing I had ever heard before. There are no lyrics; if someone asked me to play a blues song from the 50s, this would be on the top of my list. The musician speaks to what I assume is an audience whilst playing the harmonica. “Watch me,” he says, and I wish I could. I really do. It gushes with a longing for the time it was recorded in, taking you back to Tennessee in the 50s more than several popular songs would. His rhythmic “woo-ing” mixed with talking and playing his harmonica is definitely a foreshadowing of country music. In fact, I had thought this song could be considered country before I looked up Hot Shot Love. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with wolves, which was a bit disappointing, but the pure joy in his voice, along with the harmonica, made up for it.

The second track, “Harmonica Jam,” is another two-and-a-half-minute song with no lyrics. There’s no false marketing here, the song does what it says: it’s Hot Shot Love playing his harmonica and talking to the audience. I can’t bring myself to criticise it. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just incredibly different from the music all of us (or, at least, most of us) are used to hearing these days. This song is vigorously reminiscent of a time in the past – 1954, like the year it was recorded in. This is a song for barn house dances and blues concerts, definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re reminiscent of Tennessee in the 50s, then it’s just the song you’ve been looking for.

These songs aren’t something I’d regularly put into my playlist. They’re made for a very specific mood and very specific kinds of people, and, unfortunately, I don’t fit this cookie-cutter mould. Perhaps you, the reader, do. As someone who grew up listening to a lot of country music, I’d pass it over to my family, where it will certainly be overplayed during long car rides. Forgotify gives its users the chance to listen to songs on Spotify that haven’t been heard a single time, and by listening to Hot Shot Love and passing it over to my family, I have saved the band’s Spotify account from staying hidden forever.

You can try Forgotify for yourself:

http://forgotify.com/

 

News and Analytics Editor for Roar News. Digital Humanities student. Can be found taking incredibly long walks all over London.

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