For most people, great music can take you back in time. It can give you a true snapshot of some of the very best moments you’ve ever experienced. It can allow you to flip through your mental photo album. But some music is different. It does more.
HUM is one of those bands.
When you listen, your consciousness expands as you zip back and forth rapidly from past, present, to future. Their music doesn’t just create a pallet, it creates a universe where seemingly limitless amounts of depth can be found.
One of the many gifts of HUM’s music is arguably the soundscapes. Layered sounds that all serve a purpose – sounds that you would never perceive to be music, worked in as layers of their sonic world. It offers not only a tremendous listening experience, but as sounds grow on you, and you become more familiar, a Hum listener may soon realize a more profound message; one that transcends their listening experience and enhances their life all around.
These sounds offer the suggestion that life is music.
Catch HUM’s message and you just may find beauty in new aspects of life. The rumble of the highway on your way to work will become your music – the distorted sounds as your cell phone reception clips in and out – the hellicopter flying over your car. The music that only a passing breeze can divulge and all other passing transients that would otherwise be typical every day sounds have now become your sound track.
Referring to HUM’s “sonic universe” is a phrase that is anything but outlandish to someone who’s heard their music. The layers aren’t just there for texture, they’re there for the feeling. As emotions from your childhood and even your future are realized in full audio you think to yourself “this is something special”.
In HUM’s sonic world, there is also a God – and it’s vocalist Matt Talbott. As the mouthpiece for this amazing soundscape, he chooses modesty.
As the music swirls, the vocals resemble the calm eye of a hurricane, as Matt reflects with his amazingly soothing, solemn, and resonant Michael Stype / James Taylor esq tone. Like the God to any world, his voice isn’t there to prove anything – it just is. It exists and it offers deep levels of truth for those who dare to seek it within the music. This modesty has probably cost Hum some commercial success in this “in your face” world we live in – but to a Hum fan any other vocalist would be purely devastating.
The guitars dance, collide, and soar. The drums are vivid, astounding, graceful, and severe. Your subconscious makes perfect cosmic sense of the metaphysical jargon delivered in the lyrics. To the naked ear it’s jibberish – but those who undertsand the language know he’s merely speaking in code, murmuring nothing but truth on the very deepest level.
Like the world, the deeper you listen to Hum, the more can be found, and the more truth you can extract.
When a friend tells me, “I just had a HUM moment”, I know exactly what they meant. I know they’re talking about something special. The lyrics will take you directly into the eyes of a loved one as you recall the smile of a girl you’ll never see again in perfect gratitude.
For me, “If You Are To Bloom” isn’t just the song – it’s laying on my back on my friend’s trampoline at night, as I look up at the stars with headphones on. My friends are inside. The sky is dark, but the night is new, and I have the whole night ahead of me.
A HUM moment is one of those moving moments where you’re not just happy, but ecstatic to be alive and witnessing such a reality. Being able to move through my adolescence with HUM was a gift in and of itself. Like getting to grow up with a dog, it’s a privilege. It showed me a deep level of wisdom and maturity at a young age, and for that, I was lucky.
Many fans wish they had made it bigger – but for our small group of friends, we know HUM is one of life’s little gifts that not everyone is lucky enough to possess. Hum is a special pair of glasses that lets you see some of the most amazing moments in life, every single time you listen, or even re-live the music in your mind’s eye. HUM is a rare treat. It’s a mutual understanding.
Go to one of HUM’s ritualistic reunion shows (they split in 1999), and as you look around, you know that all of the others who have traveled a good distance to see this band are already your friend in some way. They too have looked past the superficial aspects of modern music — and they, like you, have found music written with no ego it all.
It is perhaps this total loss of ego that allows HUM to invoke the sort of power that’s delivered from start to finish on each and every record.
I think I speak for everyone in the small arsenal of fan’s who’s aware of Hum, when I say…”What a band.”
If you haven’t heard HUM before, it’s my pleasure to let you in on one of rock’s best kept secrets…and if you like what you here, share Hum with someone you care about. They deserve it.
Written by: D. Rose of Detroit, MI.
I put together this Hum assorted mix for Hum fans and non fans alike. If you’re a fan you already know you could listen to these tracks 1,000 times and always hear something new. If you’re not a Hum fan (oh, you will be…) – listen twice. Trust me.
Let’s go to space together…
Here is Hum ‘s You’d Prefer An Astronaut (1995) and Downward Is Heavenward (1998) in there entirety. If you can’t spare the time for a full album, scroll down for a collection of classic music, rare tracks, and video’s.
Hum – You’d Prefer An Astronaut (Full Album)
Hum – Downward Is Heavenward (Full Album)
Hum – Stars
Hum’s classic “Stars”…
Hum – Why I Like The Robins
Hum – Dreamboat
A personal favorite…
Hum – If You Are To Bloom
Hum - Apollo
I’m thinking of a number between everything and two…
Hum – Aphids
Greatest rare track…
HUM – Double Door – Chicago
Some great clips from an amazing reunion show in Chicago, IL 01/01/09
Hum – Stars on Conan
Great rock out just after 4 minutes!
Hum – I’d Like Your Hair Long Live On 120 Minutes
Hum – Songs Of Farewell And Departure
I’ll leave you with this. Goodnight…