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Honne: Pop Songs To Keep You Warm On A Cold Night

Tuesday, 02 August 2016 Written by Milly McMahon

As Honne, the Bow-based synth-pop duo Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher make music thick with nostalgic atmospheres and reverberating romance.

Composing their own brand of electronic soul and funk, the multi-instrumentalist pals are part of a fresh, multi-faceted genre pushing new music forward right now.

Having collaborated with talented, melody-making talents like Izzy Bizu and Kwabs, the pair enhance their ‘80s styles with captivating echo effects as their slow jams pay tribute to Michael Jackson and Frank Ocean. 

Currently on tour showcasing their debut LP, ‘Warm On A Cold Night’, which was released last month, both cite time spent in Tokyo as fundamental to their creative vision. Despite working from a modest, self-constructed studio in east London, they were born to perform on stage, vibing the most freely when they have an audience to play to.

Heartfelt, deeply affecting and honest, Honne’s music uses poetic metaphors to paint imaginings of insecurity and true surrender. Stereoboard spoke to Andy about the true spirit of their rhythms.

Are you optimists, pessimists or realists? How do your respective attitudes complement each other’s approach to making music and shaping lyrics?

James and I seem to chop and change between all three depending on what's going on, or the mood we're in. Generally speaking, though, if one of us feels negative about something the other one of us will try and look for the positives in the situation. I think it's partly that what keeps us going. 

Kwabs’ music and your own sat beautifully together when you toured with him last year. How did the experience change your approach to your own headline tour?

Yeah, Kwabs is great. We really respect him as an artist and feel very lucky to have toured with him. It's inspiring watching someone like him on stage and makes you want to achieve big things. We've learned he likes a good vocal warm up, so maybe it's time to start doing a few of those before we go on stage. 

Izzy Bizu’s voice works so well on Someone That Loves You. How did the collaborative process work?

She's great, isn't she? It all came about very suddenly but completely naturally. We just sent her a tweet and said ‘let's write some music’. We didn't expect to hear back, but we did and before we knew it we were in the studio together. It was a real collaborative effort. James and I had worked on the music before she arrived and then we all worked on the lyrics after that. [It was] such a chilled and non-pressured day and we’re all so happy with the outcome. 

Good Together is underpinned by a distinctive, sunny sense of positivity. How did you hone such catchy vibes and channel gospel-pop?

It's always a fine line to walk but I think we walk it pretty well. I'd say it's the production and instruments we use on record that allow us to incorporate some of the gospel elements without it ever feeling distasteful or out of place. And as for the catchy vibes, we are just thankful people latch onto them. The best part is when people sing them back to us at our gigs.

Your music is deeply romantic. Are you into hook up culture? What is or would be your byline on Tinder? 

We're actually both in long term relationships, so it's been a long time since anyone did any hooking up in this band. If we had to choose a Tinder byline though it'd be: 'You and I we're good together, so if you spend the night with me, I will make it worth your while. I'll keep you warm on a cold night and we can get frisky til 3 o'clock in the morning.' Too long?

Have your lyrics ever specifically described the deepest feelings you have had for a partner?

3AM should give you a pretty good idea of [my] other half. And a song from the album called It Ain't Wrong Loving You is about the first couple of weeks of James’ relationship with his. See what you make of it. 

What happened on your first trip to Tokyo and would you ever relocate to live there?

Yes, please. Can we? The first time I went was for a holiday. We were walking around an amazing shop called Tokyu Hands and bumped into Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club. We'd never met before but I introduced myself to him and then ended hanging out all night. It was a lot of fun. 

Of all the shows, moments and reviews, which has provided you with the affirmation to aim higher and achieve more?

For us it's more about all the little stories we hear from fans. We live for that shit. James and I are both very determined, but when someone tells you that your song helped them through a break up or helps put their newborn child to sleep, that's the stuff that keeps us going. 

Honne Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun October 23 2016 - BRISTOL Trinity
Tue October 25 2016 - GLASGOW King Tut's
Wed October 26 2016 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Thu October 27 2016 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Fri October 28 2016 - LONDON Roundhouse
Sun October 30 2016 - BRIGHTON Haunt
Mon October 31 2016 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
Tue November 01 2016 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2

Click here to compare & buy Honne Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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