Welcome to Hull. Home of the Humber Bridge, the birthplace of boiled sweets and now the inception of local band Low Hummer. Our own Dom Smith had a catch up with the Hull sextet about their new album.
Low Hummer is already being hailed as one of the best bands in the UK right now, having formed a few months BC (before Covid) and now have released one of the best debut albums of this year. Having been signed to the Dance To The Radio label, the group have released their first album entitled Modern Tricks for Living. The eclecticism from their debut already showcases the immense talent this group possess.
Having lockdown occur when you’re supposed to be building a fanbase is not ideal, but the band have rolled with it to enormous success. Dan from the band talked about the album coming out and the release of singles during the lockdowns saying, “once you’ve recorded an album, you have that period where nothing happens, and especially because of lockdown you just see your songs come out every couple of months. And then when gigs returned, it just seemed to really step it up.” Vocalist Amy feels similar to this, saying the first few gigs back gave her real confidence, “I’ve just become more confident over time. Especially in these most recent gigs.”
The past 18 months has led to some interesting learning curves for the band as well. Take Steph, who plays keys in the band, saying that before joining the band had never performed live before. But, she did say that having the time to practice during lockdown did have its advantages. “As a band, I think it’s really helped us because we’ve had that time to literally just stand in a practice room practice over and over again and write new stuff and try new stuff as well.”
The lyrics are an enormous part of the Low Hummer’s message, and the majority of the lyrics come from Dan. The band sing his praises in this department, saying his lyrics are universal and everyone can relate to them in one way or another. Steph says, “they’re all universal problems – like on social media, where we’re feeling isolated, or out of place, or whatever, I think particularly people our age massively relate to that.” The songs battle between sounding ‘fun’ and ‘dark,’ which is a difficult balance to pull off. As Dan says, “it kind of balances it out, and I think I think people just respond to that.”
Dan is very comfortable with talking about his process. He believes songwriting to be ultimately cathartic and allows you to channel creativity and your emotions into a piece of art. This is expressed even more live, with that connection to a live audience. “There’s the sort of the energy of playing live, and sort of that adrenalin that it gives you, and again, it comes back to the pride of seeing your friends boss it”, says Dan.
It’s also important for people to know what your band stand for. So, what do the members of Low Hummer stand for exactly? “I would like to think that we articulate ourselves well enough that people can identify that if you are northern and the various elements of what that brings,” says Dan. John continues along a similar path, saying, “like we’re not above any band, and we don’t feel below any band either. All bands are based on the effort they put in and the sort of chances they get given.” Even with this fantastic mentality, things are still heating up for the northern sextet (not a euphemism, by the way) with them supporting the Manic Street Preachers on tour. This has come hot off the heels of a blistering slot on the BBC Introducing stage at this year’s Reading and Leeds festival.
With all this success, how do the band define it themselves? Steph sums this up the best by saying, “I think something that makes you happy, and family, community, for me, like I felt successful when I first joined the band or the day we’d been offered this tour. Because at the end of the day both were really, really exciting opportunities. And I’ve also found five people that like absolutely adore. We’re idiots, but like it works.”
It does work, and with that, you’ll be hearing the name Low Hummer a lot more in the future.
Interview: Dom Smith / Words: Brett Herlingshaw