Hausu wins acclaim for debut album "Total." Left to right: Carl Hedman ’13, Benjamin Friars-Funkhouser ’14, Alexander Maguire ’14, Santiago Leyba ’14.
Deep in a forgotten corner of the Gray Campus Center basement, down the hall from the comic book library, Reed’s band practice room (BPR) is anything but glamorous. But for many Reedies it is a hallowed space, a place that (between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays, all day weekends) can incubate their energy and talent. For the last three years one group of Reedies in particular have made the BPR home. They call themselves Hausu, and this summer all their hard work is finally paying off.
Hausu is composed of Carl Hedman ’13, Benjamin Friars-Funkhouser ’14, Alexander Maguire ’14, and Santiago Leyba ’14. They are rockers in the vein of 1990s indie bands like Sebadoh and Sonic Youth, and their debut album, Total, is full of interlocking guitar pieces and post-punk snarl. Total was released by Hardly Art Records on June 25. So far it has met with nearly unanimous acclaim. The Portland Mercury called “one of the finest debut records in recent memory,” while the website Allmusic called the album “infectious,” and wrote that its single, “Leaning Mess,” felt like a “distant classic.” The album’s release was timed to coincide with Hausu’s six-week, cross-country tour, which took them from Portland to New York City and back.
Hausu recorded Total over winter break, but the band had been honing the songs on the album since their first jam three years ago. It wasn’t always easy for the band members to align their schedules: last year Carl wrote his thesis in economics, while Ben, Alex, and Santi all took the junior qual (in art history, anthropology, and studio art, respectively). “it was difficult to make time to play the music,” Carl said, “but it was an important catharsis for us to deal with academic stress.”
Hausu will play in Portland's annual MusicFest NW Festival in September. And if you're on campus and have a bit of luck, you might catch them practicing in the BPR.