Experimental and electronic takes on soul music has seen a wonderful influx of fresh talent from across the pond as of late, and with names like James Blake and Jack Garratt, HONNE, the electronic-soul duo descended on NYC in a gloriously packed to the gills Rough Trade NYC to lay down smooth vocals for the masses.
Beforehand, Soft Lit had the opening spot and succeeded in warming us up quite nicely. Heavy dubs and electronic flourishes, with ample 808’s and smooth bass from Tyler McCauley got our heads nodding, while singer Tara Chacón added her emotive and angelic voice into the mix. Her vocals seemed to float effortlessly over the thudding rhythms that added a dreamlike quality to the atmosphere of the room.
After a few rowdy fans finished professing their love for HONNE while they readied the stage, the lights dimmed and the excitement peaked as they started their set. The crowd swayed and sang along word for word, hanging on every breath, inflection and word that Andy sang. While the girls in front of me got so worked up fighting over their favorite songs, they were missing the magic that was happening on stage. Pulling out cuts like “The Night,” and “Love The Jobs You Hate,” the crowd wasted no time in cheering as Andy sang the lines “I understand, go fuck yourself / Don’t tell me you are who you are.” Alongside James’ expertly placed embellishments on synths, their show kept up a steady pace, keeping things upbeat and lively.
As I watched the show, what I noticed most about HONNE was that although their music is heavily leaning toward electronic, there is enough soul elements included in the arrangements. Coupled with Andy’s voice, which to me sounded like a mix between Fink’s Fin Greenall and Jon B – a soothing, ultra-smooth, crooning quality that settled over me like a nice blanket. This combination put me in the mind of great 90’s R&B, but still incredibly fresh sounding and current.
HONNE has already proved their talent overseas and spread their fan-base clear across the pond and this is merely the beginning.
Article: Lesley Keller