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Electronic hybrid act Humans boosts their Humanity

Friday 20th, February 2015 / 15:53

BeatRoute is proud to present an exclusive stream of the Beach Season remix of HUMANS track “Tell Me.” The bands are currently on tour, hitting Calgary on March 5, Edmonton on March 6 and Saskatoon on March 7. Stream the track below and read Michael Grondin’s piece!

By Michael Grondin
Vancouver’s great electronic hope Humans gets tangible on new album Noontide. Photo: Lauren D. Zbarsky

Vancouver’s great electronic hope Humans gets tangible on new album Noontide.
Photo: Lauren D. Zbarsky

CALGARY – Humans, the Vancouver-based experimental electronic duo consisting of Peter Ricq and Robbie Slade, have brought their brains together for a refined and polished new sound to be showcased on their imminent new album.

Noontide has 12 dancey synth-pop songs. According to Humans, the recording of the album was done using some of the best gear possible, creating a fuller and more mature sound compared to their previous releases. Noontides is their fourth release, and it brings driving beats, arpeggiated synths, guitars and playful vocal melodies.

“I think the album has a really mature sound — it’s way more polished. We’ve been using almost the same gear for a long time and I think it sounds a bit different from our old sound,” says Ricq.

Humans began producing music together in 2009. Slade played in a folk band while Ricq produced electronic music. After a jam, the duo came together to create a dynamic chemistry, blending different musical perspectives.

“When we started it was more of a fusion, a middle ground between the types of music we were playing. Now I’m really into rock music and Robbie is an electronic guy, but we still find the middle ground,” says Ricq.

Writing and producing a song is different every time, they say, adding that they just want to have fun and explore different sonic possibilities with each song.

“Robbie will come with an idea, or I’ll have something started and we just play with it until it turns into something. It’s never like, ‘Peter, this is how we’re going to write the song,’ every time and it’ll never happen like that. I think it’s kind of boring if you do that,” adds Ricq. “Sometimes the songs start with the drums, sometimes a bass line, sometimes a lyric. Robbie likes to bike around and come up with his sweet hooks.”

The band says that they both have different approaches to writing songs, but that in the end their music is a combination of both perspectives.

“I’ll sit down and know I’ll have a couple hours and try to get it done in that time,” says Ricq.

“My songs are never done,” adds Slade.

Nik Kozub of electronic act Shout Out Out Out Out produced Noontide, which features members of his band on some of the songs.

“The album has more of a classic sound. We’ve been writing songs for Noontide for a long time, there are some songs that are like four years old and it was really fun to record at a real studio, which we’ve never really done before,” says Slade. “We went to Nik with finished songs, well, we thought they were finished, and Nik kind of ran it through all of his nice gear and the crazy setup he has there. We had access to everything.”

Ricq adds that Noontide will be the band’s first release with a full team backing it, adding to its polished and mature sound.

“It’s our first real release with a real team behind it, and we’ve been a band for five years now and we haven’t been on the road since Traps (2012) so we are really excited,” says Ricq, adding that the band’s live performance has also matured.

“What you’re going to hear live will be a whole new take of what’s on the album,” he says. “We like to have fun and the happier you are, the happier we are. It’s just a couple guys making some beats.”

Humans’ new album Noontide comes out Feb. 24. Catch Humans at Commonwealth on March 5th or in Edmonton at the Pawn Shop on March 6th.

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