Warm On A Cold Night - Honne
By Paul Slater
After two years of brilliantly crafted but frustratingly disconnected EP’s, Bow duo Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher have finally released their long anticipated first album Warm On A Cold Night. Earning rave reviews as early as 2014 for their work, HONNE have built up an impressive repertoire of songs since their emergence but are by no means resting on their laurels. Perfectionists by nature, the duo have worked tirelessly over a two-year period to create a sound completely unique to themselves.
The glorious thing about HONNE and their new album is that you can’t offer a truly accurate description of them to anyone, whilst the backbone of their songs are a rich soul sound, they’re mixed seamlessly with uplifting electronic organ synths. It’s a bit of Frank Ocean, Tom Misch and 2009 XX all thrown into a mixing bowl together and the result is smoother than whatever frictionless surface you can think of.
Opening with its titular song, "Warm On A Cold Night" is the perfect introduction to what you can expect from HONNE, a complete amalgamation of their entire sound. Slow then quick, quiet then loud, soft then forthright. As with every HONNE song the lyrics are uncompromisingly romantic. The Telegraph referred to it as “baby-making music” and lead singer Andy skilfully plays a game of lyrical brinkmanship with this assessment, dancing often around the topic of love making but without turning the songs themselves into cringe inducing mush. The third song on the album, "Someone That Loves You" was released earlier in the year and became a real watershed moment for the band, eventually making for their most well received song yet. Interestingly it’s probably the furthest they’ve been from what you might think of as their truest form, with Izzy Bizu lending her vocals for this classic summer anthem - opening the band up to a much wider audience than previously accessible. The album follows with another scorcher, "All In The Value". This was the song which had me hooked on HONNE in the first place. In fact, it’s a very intense song in comparison to their other work; Its deep hitting synths and unexpected guitar solo makes it a fan favourite and is without argue their best work yet. "Take You High" is another masterclass in soul-synth and I challenge anyone to sit still and listen to it.
In truth there isn’t a single weak spot in the album. Of course not each song is flawless, but there isn’t one on there that would warrant skipping. There’s a consistency to HONNE which marks them out amongst other groups and their rise over the course of the past year has been more of an inevitability thanks to this. Their unique sound has absolutely been a breath of fresh air to the British music scene and their success at home and abroad is evidence of this.