Anyone who has ever seen Patrik Kittel’s winning ride in the 2011 World Dressage Masters event accompanied by a soundtrack of DEPECHE MODE will know that horses and synthesizers actually can mix.
So presenting some oddball equestrian electronica are leftfield quartet HUGH in the shape of their latest offering ‘I Can’t Figure You Out’.
On first listen, this percolating ditty sounds like another product of Scandinavia and her sisters but in fact, HUGH hail from South London.
The soulful combo combine lush synthesized textures and mechanical beats with looser tinges of R’n’B, chill-out and lounge. The captivating, naive lead vocal from Izzy Brooks states “you know just how I feel” as she makes handle with care pleas like “don’t toy with me” and “careful with my heart” that as intensity builds like a pressure cooker. And this is all before a time signature change and some lingering guitar from Martin Kolarides, over which Brook’s frustrating despair is released with a spirited jazzy refrain of “No, I can’t figure you out!” Now, who hasn’t been here before?
Directed by Eoin Glaister, the video to ‘I Can’t Figure You Out’ sees a courting couple in an equine stand-off that totally embraces the sentiment of the song and captures its sexual tension in a highly surreal, but imaginative way.
‘I Can’t Figure You Out’ is from the 4 track EP of the same name which “documents friendship, loneliness and love in ambient beatscapes and unembellished electronica”. In addition to the title track, it also features the sparse slow mo deep house of ‘Charlie’ and the bloppy ‘Not Fair Too Far’ which features the combo’s male vocalist Joshua Idehen more prominently.
“The main idea behind HUGH and this EP” explained founder member Andy Highmore, “was to combine my love of slightly left field electronic music with my love of great songs and catchy melodies and hooks”.
The ‘I Can’t Figure You Out EP’ is released by Hughlovehugh and available now as a download via the usual digital retailers
Text by Chi Ming Lai
26th July 2014