Hugh: Love, Hugh

Hugh © Hugh

Apart from being responsible for getting a lot of songs stuck in our heads, London-based quartet, Hugh, have had us saying “Love Hugh.” instead of “Love You.” to all of our close family and friends this week.

It’s become a bit of a game to see how long we can get away with saying it before anyone notices, although our minds are slowly starting to unravel and we can’t tell if we even love anyone anymore. Maybe we just love Hugh. And by that we mean you. We think.

When they’re not busy tricking people into loving them, you can expect to find Hugh making some incredibly inventive, synapse sparking, R&B-influenced synthpop. Their debut album ‘Love, Hugh’ is addictive and exciting. That might sound like a substitute PE teacher describing cricket, as part of a desperate attempt to inspire enthusiasm in the kids who are already walking away to the ‘smoker’s tree‘, but listening to it simply makes us happy that music exists.

There are a lot of influences to be found here, the production on One Of These Days is reminiscent of Tyler, The Creator’s work on Wolf and naturally, due to their particular use of synths and vocals, comparisons can be made to the likes of The Knife and FKA Twigs. They combine a lot of different styles, but at no point does this feel gimmicky. From the laid back cadence of the vocals to the catchy melodies and poetic lyrics, everything has been carefully pieced together.

Hugh - Love, Hugh Album Art
© Hugh – ‘Love, Hugh’ Album Art

In And Out Of Love sounds like a track that could have been co-written by Bowie, Debbie Harry, The xx and Gil Scott-Heron. Joshua Idehen’s spoken word, Tino Kolarides’ guitar work, Izzy Brooks’ ethereal vocals and Andy Highmore’s tight production combine to create something extraordinary.

Their chemistry is evident throughout the album and you can sense their genuine passion for music, which is not surprising considering how the group got together; Joshua bumped into Andy whilst trying to Shazam a song in a bar, which we like to think involved Joshua eventually having to balance on Andy’s shoulders, stretching to get his phone as close to the speaker as possible. The song in question? Probably Enya’s Only Time.

‘Love, Hugh’ is, for the most part, understated and soothing, but it also combines these qualities with some standout dance-influenced moments. You can check out the video for Go below, which achieves a timeless feel, both through the choice of visuals and synths. The chorus is hypnotic and the track serves as a perfect example of just how well Joshua’s and Izzy’s vocals blend together.

Love, Hugh‘ is out Thursday 25th May.

Send Hugh a summary of your political beliefs via Facebook. Create a hashtag that has good trending potential on Twitter and get Hugh to support it. Persuade Hugh to take one of your pets on their next tour; get them to document its adventures and upload photos to a dedicated Instagram fan account.