The critically-acclaimed rocker shares new tunes, some inspired by his sobriety, on five-song EP
Like many of the people that heard Brandi Carlile’s stellar album By the Way, I Forgive You, Dave Hause instantly fell in love. So much so that the Philly singer-songwriter felt compelled to record a cover of “Hold Out Your Hand.”
The spirited rendition is found on Hause’s new EP September Haze, out Thursday.
“I just couldn’t believe the production, the songwriting, the honesty, and ‘Hold Out Your Hand,’ was like, ‘Oh my god, she made a punk rock song,’” says Hause, the frontman for punk band The Loved Ones who has drawn critical acclaim for his solo albums, including 2017’s Bury Me in Philly. “It’s just one of those reminders that despite everybody labeling things, the categorization of music, they’re just songs. There’s a commonality in that song and what a lot of my peers and I do.”
The cover joins four other tunes on September Haze, a stripped-down take of “Shaky Jesus” from Bury Me in Philly, and three new songs that each, in their own way, have ties to the 40-year-old expectant father’s sobriety. (He marked three years in July.)
“I didn’t really see how these songs exactly went together until just recently,” says Hause of the common threads, including the magical thinking that sometimes accompanies accomplishing a goal, particularly on the song “Steady Now.” “We’ve all done this where you go, ‘Alright, I’m gonna do the difficult thing’ — whatever that might be, stopping drinking, getting up for work earlier, not chasing toxic relationships — and you do it, and then s— still is going wrong, and still feels super unsteady… The thing just needed to be done despite what you hope the outcome is.”
For now the outcome is this EP, which will serve as a stopgap as Hause crafts his fourth solo album, on which he plans to turn his songwriting eye to the current climate. “I’m taking love songs and setting them aside because I really feel like this is the lowest American culture has gotten while I’ve been on the planet,” he says. “And if I don’t sing about it, I feel irresponsible.”