Saturday, January 30, 2016

Track Of The Day :: Hugh - Direction

Words: Linn Branson

There's something about Hugh. No, seriously. It's a funny name for a band who are not a solo person, but make up a foursome, none of whom are called Hugh (we have a vague recollection of being told by them once that Hugh Grant figured in the naming process...we could be wrong), and what's more, they make the kind of music you wouldn't expect a Hugh of any description to make.

The London electronica collective - Joshua Idehen (who also bides time in Benin City, who themselves have just completed work on their second album), Izzy Brooks, and Andy Highmore and Tino Kolarides (both formerly of Hoodlums) - make gorgeous sounds - remember 'I Can’t Figure You Out' from 2014, and the more recent 'Learn To Fall'? - and 'Direction', the latest track they unveiled earlier this week, might well be their best yet. Certainly one of the best tracks to reach our ears this month.

Described as a song "about losing faith and homophobia", 'Direction' comes in at near-on seven minutes, and not one second of could be thought surplus to the song's overall texture. It glows via the dual male/female vocals of Idehen and Brooks and swampy beats, in an otherwise sombre melancholic palette (with a dark production style that could be alikened to The xx or Oh Wonder) and loaded with restrained emotion as they sing: "Gimme something to work with/Cos I'm gonna need a little more direction...Do you believe, believe in love?/In all kinds of love?/Not just the ones you understand?" - before it closes on an unexpected piano end-piece.

Idehen, the song's (which took six months to finish) writer, tells below how 'Direction' came about:

"I thought I'd share a track I wrote a few years back, around the time I was falling out of love with my own christian beliefs. I'd been following the LGBTQIA movement online and I thought the catholic stance on same sex marriage was kind of sad: I'd grown up believing 'God is Love' and it didn't make sense to include a 'terms and conditions' to it."

Hugh's debut album is due later this year.

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