Hhymn - In The Depths
If you’re sitting surrounded by the wrappers of demolished Easter eggs, wishing that you were the one marrying a Prince/ wearing a Middleton on your arm (delete as orientationally applicable), then we may have a little something that will rid your mind of post-Royal wedding resentment. It comes in the form of the Midlands’ very own five-piece Hhymn, an aternative folk collective who seem to have every instrument under the folking sun in their arsenal. Already swooning the likes of Mat Horne (you know, that bloke from ‘Gavin and Stacey’) and BBC6 Music’s Tom Robinson, Hhymn are all set to plunge your mind In The Depths with their eagerly anticipated debut album.
Making guitar-led music seem about as bland as a dinner with a salt ban, each track on In The Depths isn’t afraid to provoke all feelings; lost and found. Take ‘Land of Souls’ for example. Penned by the voice of a dejected inner-being that consumes itself in its own loneliness, its reflective tone reveals the reasoning behind loves isolation with a fading declaration of ‘Oh my love / Oh my darling / What a terrible waste of a beautiful morning,’ further enhanced by vocalist Ed Bannard’s audacious ability to talk to the head through the heart.
‘Wolves’ carries a similar subconsciously sedating compound, but injects it with a much higher dose. Using Amy Halliwell’s instrumental collage, the melody cries with semitone tears from the trumpet’s bell, accentuating Bannard’s words with a brass fist. This pastiche partnership is found within the core of In The Depths, reaching its paramount in standout track, and next-single-to-be, 'Girl of Mine'. Here Hhymn position themselves as a 75 BPM Rumble Strips fronted by Jimi Goodwin, finding their niche within their careful, yet perfected instrumental interplay. And if that isn’t enough for you, then have a listen to 'These Hands' – a track that would even turn a stone into a puddle of loved-up goo.
With In The Depths, Hhymn have created a debut album with enough musical armoury to blast your ears into the next century, that’s for sure. Leading the way beyond 4-chord obsessed bands, they provide not only lyrical craft and endearment, but such a breadth of internal musical styles that they could set up their own brand of Hhymn 57 Varieties. In fact, if it was Marks and Spencers who were writing this review, they’d probably finish by saying, ‘this isn’t just folk music, this is alternative, Hhymn folk music.’ And by golly, does that sum it up nicely.