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September 2020 (Arlo Parks)
Album review

The Howl & The Hum - Human Contact

A debut album full of promise and soaring wall-of-sound anthems.
Label:
Released: 29th May 2020
Rating: ★★★★
The Howl & The Hum - Human Contact
Published: 9:36 pm, September 16, 2020Words: Jamie Muir.

Who'd have thought an album title such as 'Human Contact' would be so appropriate in times like these. There's no crystal ball into the future here, but rather something much larger that captures The Howl & The Hum and an appeal that has seen them grind away to become a band truly beloved by those lucky enough to discover them. With powerhouse live shows and an ever-burgeoning sense of bigger things on the horizon, that spirit is captured fully with 'Human Contact', a debut album full of promise, soaring wall-of-sound anthems and above all else - a sense of romance that stretches across human connection, the world around us and nostalgia in one swoop.

Driven by cutting lyricism, 'Human Contact' wraps the immediacy of frontman Sam Griffiths' words with sounds that echo U2 in their Joshua Tree pomp and chilling modern electronica. Cold compassion and chilling realities rip both at their highest and lowest ebbs. 'Hall Of Fame' is a new wave gleamer, 'The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island' ripples on the shore before surging to a tidal wave finale and 'Until I Found A Rose' rackets along the tracks with ease. Throughout there's a commanding voice and message to what they do, an album and band on top form when it comes to storytelling and ensuring you're waiting on every syllable. 'Sweet Fading Silver' is a tear-jerking ode to what's been lost and the memories of the past, whilst 'Hostages' chronicles the end of a relationship with a knack of early Coldplay-charm.

With a lot of bands, taking the stories that influence their songwriting and translating that into a sound that matches can be a tricky balance. The Howl & The Hum do both on 'Human Contact', and the result is a rich notebook meticulously put together and ready for all to pour across. It's essential reading for a motion picture soundtrack of its own.

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