Peter Michel recorded Hibou's 2015 self-titled debut in a walk-in closet. These humble beginnings led to great things: His shoegaze-frosted dream-pop drew raves reviews and led to opening slots for Metric, Phantogram, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The Seattle-based musician has come a long way since that time – in fact, his second album as Hibou, Something Familiar, reflects several years marked by profound change. "I was still a teenager when I was writing the first album," he explains. "All of the songs feel a little one-faced. They're about relationships and love and summertime and things like that. On this upcoming album, I really challenged myself lyrically to get a little more personal, and talk about some of the darker parts of myself."
In a nod to embracing change, Michel made a conscious choice to track Something Familiar in a real studio, the Chris Walla-owned Hall of Justice, with an outside producer, Dylan Wall. He also recorded with a full band rather than by himself. "I toured for a long time with the band, and it was really interesting to see how the songs changed when there were four people playing them, as opposed to just me in my bedroom," he says. But for all the changes and progress evident on Something Familiar, Michel is careful to note that the core essence of what makes Hibou special hasn't changed. "It was strange to start consciously writing from a different stylistic standpoint, but I didn't want to totally turn the page," Michel says. "There is still a fundamental Hibou sound in there. It just is drenched in a little more honesty."