Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq are Humans, the accomplished aces of Vancouver’s electronic music scene. The duo has been releasing quality albums since 2010, but its latest LP Going Late is a whole new beast. Listening to Humans’ discography, one might wonder how the members manage to reference so many styles of music while still retaining so many vibes congruent with each other throughout
In Going Late, Humans elaborate on moods that have been building since its 2012 release Traps. The album transports you to a neon-lit, secret-sharing underground after party; at the same time, you’ll hear newer features that appear as subtle shout outs to the artists who inspired them.
“We listen to a lot of old stuff, like from the ‘70s and ‘80s, that Robbie’s uncle sends to us,” Ricq says. “There are a bunch of old songs that have really influenced us, and we’re always listening to new music, so it’s just like a big mishmash of everything we’ve listened to. Not any particular genre or artist, because we like so many different styles and I think it shows, just in how eclectic the release is, from like, those really electronic-y sounds to sounding more soulful.”
This album can’t really be pigeon-holed into an electro-pop or pure underground electro category because it communicates a unique idea that only Humans can create. They attribute the ability to flesh out the sound to their producer, Nik Kozub [of Shout Out Out Out].
“On [Noontide], we were in the studio with him for two weeks, and he just made it happen. It was exactly what we wanted, and we were so happy with it that we just kept working with him,” Slade says.
Take the individual tracks, for example. “RUN” (ft. So Loki) has a purring, dark, sexy feel. The title track, “Going Late,” intensifies throughout and would fit in on any late-night cruising playlist. And the final track, “Still About You”— the continuation of another track,“Bout Chu”—is nearly mainstream pop material with a memorable and catchy hook. Above all, the album is fun—almost in spite of the dark undercurrent it’s built on—and it keeps the listener’s curiosity long beyond the afterparty.
The duo is fired up to perform the new LP in Edmonton. Not only is it fresh material, but Humans has also curated a new entirely live set.
“We were so busy two years ago, and we didn’t have the time to learn the new songs [for the live performance]. So we were doing half live sets, and we missed doing the full live sets. It is really exciting to be doing that again,” Ricq says.
Slade and Ricq went on to say that they haven’t played live songs from the first EP in about eight years, and they’ll be revisiting old favourites as well as hitting the crowd with their fresh material.
“Edmonton always has really, really enthusiastic crowds. Edmonton people really like to party,” Slade says.
“Yeah. It kinda feels like a family,” Ricq adds.
– Liz Sea
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