HUMANS Craft a Distraction with Progressive Sonic Evolution

By Joey Lopez

Vancouver’s very own electronic dynamic-duo HUMANS have just released their full-length album Going Late, a follow-up to their EP The Feels that dropped earlier this year. Going Late feels like the electronic anthem of Vancouver. Unique as a duo in their own right, Peter Ricq and Robbie Slade find a way to still capture the nightlife of the city they call home.

“I can only speak for myself, but we’ve been doing this band long enough that all of this is a product of being a Vancouverite for the past fifteen years. With how things have changed [in the city] and how weird it is right now… I don’t know, it’s challenging being a Vancouverite,” says Slade. “We were in that headspace while writing all of this stuff. I mean, we try not to do this because I think it’s kind of stupid to have a point when writing lyrics. We try to write fun stuff. ‘Breakfast with Liz’ is literally about going out for breakfast with my friend Liz.”

Everything they write comes from the source material of their lives and from Vancouver as a whole. Existing as a Vancouverite in its current climate is tough and HUMANS are bringing levity to the challenges by creating a danceable distraction with Going Late.

“It’s kind of darker and there are a couple movements to every song. It evolves,” says Ricq of their sound and the sound of Going Late. “It’s a movement and it always evolves. We call it progressive. There’s always a progression to the sound. There’s two parts, sometimes more, it’s like dancing. We always try to make something that moves you, something that’s not your typical polished sound. We try to take on challenges and I think every time we do an album we try something new, something we haven’t done before.”

With Going Late, HUMANS do something new by breaking the conventions of what makes an electronic album. According to Slade, it’s barely using electronics in exchange for something more traditional. “Everything has very loose percussion. There’s a lot of bass, guitar, keys and live drummers. It’s a lot more live.”

“On some of these tracks it’s Robbie and I playing bass over three different sessions really stacking it up and Robbie playing more guitar and more live drums than ever before. We were trying to experiment and have more of a band sound without creating it with a band. We’re getting more comfortable after doing “Noontide” and wanted to do it before, but it didn’t feel right. After working with our producer Nik (Kozub) we feel like we can do whatever we want.”

With Going Late HUMANS want listeners to be able to put the record on at anytime and turn everything into a dance party, while being able to chill, unwind and listen to alone. And of course, HUMANS wants their fans to come out of listening to Going Late with one thing most of all, “We want them to think we should win a Juno,” says Slade without a second of hesitation and a laugh.

Going Late is available now on all streaming platforms. Humans perform February 15 at Celebrities (Vancouver), February 16 at The Cvurch of John (Edmonton) and February 17 at Commonwealth (Calgary).