With the grit of tape saturation between their teeth, the Minneapolis quintet have turned a pandemic baby into one of Uncle Sam’s most exciting prospects.
Do you remember the magic and authenticity of the mid 90’s alt-rock scene? Smashing Pumpkins had just released their opus Mellon Collie, Grandaddy were at the height of their spacey lo-fi groove and Weezer had just burst onto the scene with The Blue Album. Now encapsulate all of those hooky riffs and diaristic narratives into a 21st century outfit, and what are you left with? Hyooman.
Alongside his boon companions Tamara Alswager (guitar), McCoy Seitz (drums), Dillon Marchus (bass), and Elise Bremer (keys), frontman Leng Moua operates as an idiosyncratic orchestrator of real self-effacing promise.
Much like its creator, Half-Brain revels in its own modesty, swinging to the right side of our cerebrum as it assumes the role of emotional avatar. The crunchy rides, the almost sprechstimme style vocal delivery, it all sounds so humanistic and unpretentious, much to their credit. Within the fissures of the brain there harbours a treasure chest of sleeping endorphins that Moua and his band of prospectors have managed to awaken from their slumber. I don’t know whether its the nostalgic textures or the adroit simplicity of the arrangement but I find myself frolicing in a chemical playground of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
“We didn’t want to sound overly processed and “clean.” So we avoided the pursuit of technical precision and embraced “looseness” and mistakes. We want to sound like a band; the song should sound and feel like humans are playing the instruments”
With an album of delectable sonic treats in the pipeline, this record has been served as an introductory tastebud-tingling Amuse-bouche. On the topic of food, Moua says ‘I get the feeling that we’re like liquorice flavoured ice cream‘ as he gently leans onto the cup of tea analogy. But if you consider its potent remedial and medicinal qualities, I’d say that comparison more or less hits the nail on the head.