Release Date: Jul 22, 2016
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Electronic, R&B, Soul, Pop/Rock
Not for a minute do you actually imagine Honne – the duo of Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher – were created in a major-label marketing meeting after a focus group threw up the urgent need for an east London-based outfit that sounded like a lower-register James Blake produced by Jungle. But had Honne not spontaneously appeared – two university pals united by West Country childhoods, a fetish for Japan and the vibes of the west coast – some svengali would probably have invented them. The pair have found a sweet, sweet spot in which to release their debut album, combining a number of successful strands of millennial tuneage with nigh-on surgical grace.
It would be futile to mention all of the high points here -- they're featured in every track. You've got the skipping percussion in "Treat You Right," the gospel-infused choruses in "It Ain't Wrong Loving You," and the pulsating build-up in closing track "FHKD." Honestly, you could pick a track at random and find something to enjoy. The only down side to such consistency is the lyrical themes -- perhaps endemic for many artists straddling the soul boundary -- and their focus on love and relationships.
There’s a problem that seems unique to the modern music industry that I’m going to call EP Overload. It’s something that London duo Honne seem to have fallen victim to with their long-awaited debut Warm On A Cold Night. EP Overload is what occurs when an up-and-coming artist releases so many EPs that it can have an effect on their debut album.
In the same way post-Kid A Radiohead convinced a generation of indie bands to abandon guitars for synths, James Blake has persuaded a legion of sensitive would-be acoustic balladeers to make jazz-inflected electronica. Duo Honne – propelled by the woozy reverberations of Retrograde – spin their debut around a fictional Smooth FM. “It’s 3:17am.
When smooth-as-they-come duo Honne released their first music almost two years ago, the promise was unquestionable. The feeling that they tapped in to might not have been anything particularly groundbreaking, but with an after-hours-ambience and super smooth backdrop, those early tracks felt like a blueprint for bigger and better things. In the time since, that promise has threatened to slip, and on their debut LP Honne fail to realise that promise with any kind of conviction.
Today's dating world is filled with keeping options open, mixed signals and all-round confusion. But Honne's Warm On A Cold Night evokes the natural excitement that comes with every new chase for a genuine connection. The UK electronic soul duo first shared what's at the heart of their music in 2015 in the soulful and experimental R&B EP Coastal Love.