Signup for the
email newsletter

News

06.30.2017

Humming House Bio

Turning on the radio, computer, or television can seem like a gamble, at best. Each new tuning offers a deluge of anxieties to greet us. In the face of this 21st century tumult, Humming House is on a quest. They do not want to wish away the pain and fear all too real in our lives, but to put those elements in conversation with the elements that sustain us: hope, partnership, even joy. And so, their newest album begins with Tam's unmistakable voice intoning, "I want to be your companion." It's an appropriate beginning for a band who has built itself on complex musicianship and careful collaboration. They know the value of hard work and compromise. Their music is evidence of the thrill of creativity.

Humming House is Justin Wade Tam, Bobby Chase, Joshua Wolak, and Benjamin Jones. The band formed organically out of jam sessions that Tam held in his living room in East Nashville-evidence that some of the best projects come from spontaneous collaboration and the subsequent seeing it through. Now, three albums and six years later, Humming House continues to embody what is best about the Nashville each transplant chooses to call home.

What Humming House does so well is paint sonic landscapes that are at once compelling and honest, even in the most rollicking of songs. Revelries, Humming House's second full-length album released in 2015, was largely influenced by the band's history of touring. Its songs revealed the power and revelations that come from travel. Companion, to be released by Soundly on the 6th of October 2017, continues to pursue that which transforms. In part, it is still movement, movement that comes easily to the body as well as movement driven by the unease we daily brush up against. What's most powerful about Humming House is their ability to be present with you, to take those moments in life that seem mundane and shift the lens so that they are rendered extraordinary. Theirs is a music of presence.

Humming House maintains that sense of intimacy that derives from making music with friends altogether in the same room. It is fun combined with substance. With Tam's sincerity, Jones' groove, and Chase and Wolak's charm, their live shows extend the invitation to participate. As Dustin Ogdin observes in No Depression, "Humming House exudes restraint and a wily intelligence. They never pander to their crowd, but do respect them. They also seem to understand that the best music comes from an exchange between artist and audience rather than simply one giving and the other receiving."

These essential traits of Humming House are evident in Companion. The story of the album mirrors the story of the band: it's one of collaboration, experimentation, and showing up for each other over and again. There are songs of hope and of desperation so that the prevailing mood is one of exchange and balance. In the spirit of experimentation, the band threw out the constraining rule that they would only write with acoustic instruments. While those sounds still center the creative impulses of the songs, the added electric experimentation and expanded instrumentation imbue the new songs with a dynamism that is irresistible. Tam notes that the "extremes of the record in emotion are wider on this album. There's more desperation, but there's also fun and an upbeat aspect that's more joyous." The first half of the album is infused with Indie Rock, especially in songs such as "Can't Stay Away," "Takin' Over," and "Make it Through." The influence of quirky 90s rock, a la Cake, is there too. "Takin' Over" adheres to the Humming House desire to move you and is emblematic of those moments in our lives where the rhythm of the things that we love: music, friends, family commandeer our bodies until we're compelled to move in joy.

"Sign Me Up" and "Companion" nod to Paul Simon, while "Silver Lining," "Find What Waits," and "London" gesture to Humming House's long engagement with classical composition and songwriter driven melodies so strong in the realm of Americana. The album isn't all hip swinging bravado; halfway through, "Silver Lining" will stop and compel you to attend to the broken things that shape us. "Make it Through" and "Hope in My Head" are prisms to transform difficult days into livable ones. "I Want It All" does justice to the nostalgia and influence of a favorite album, while "Sign Me Up" conveys the increasing distance between our digital, urban lives and the ecosystems that sustain us.

"Wishing Well" is a late album gem. It opens with the observation, "Be patient with the ones you love / because we're not here for long enough / to judge," and so the song is an invitation to come to terms with our collective humanity, a difficult enough feat in the current torrid climate of politics, environmental concerns, and general unease. Thankfully, Humming House is dedicated to honest songwriting, attending to the complex interactions that shape us, and is committed to being present with us in their albums and live shows. What choice do we have but to respond? Theirs is a music that places us.

Instagram

Thanks @alexis_deaton for brightening up our day with this! #hummingarts
12.02.15 10:28am
C H I C A G O ! Mark your calendars and tag your friends - we are coming 2/19 to @beatkitchenbar for Dunn Dunn Fest! πŸ“·: @tyaubs
12.01.15 7:42pm
@lulubeangifts hooked up our #humminghounds with some amazing doggo treats - check 'em out if you need gift ideas for a doggo lover!
12.01.15 3:52pm
ALL items in our online store are 20% off and all tshirts are 50% off. Tshirts have limited sizes so get 'em quick - we are retiring the designs forever and getting new stock in 2016‼️no code needed - prices are adjusted. humminghouse.com
11.30.15 11:29am
Happy Sunday πŸ™Œ
11.29.15 4:36pm
THANKFUL for our HH fam and all you wonderful friends and fans. We are the lucky ones. πŸ“·: @melissamadisonfuller
11.26.15 6:41pm
THANK YOU NASHVILLE AND @lightning100 WE LOVE YOU FOREVER‼️ πŸ“·: @jondicus
11.23.15 1:55am
Nashville November 2014. Can't wait until tomorrow! 📷: @kelseycherry
11.21.15 9:27pm
[video] CHECK OUT OUR NEW SONG πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ’₯πŸ”₯
11.20.15 12:12pm
Good hangs at @lightning100 this am! We're on in a few minutes playing a brand new song - tune in Nashville!💥
11.19.15 11:19am
Debuting this beauty at @3rdandlindsley this weekend πŸ’₯
11.18.15 6:34pm
Prepping some brand new tunes just for you Nashville 😯 see you Sunday @3rdandlindsley !
11.18.15 11:08am
We need an eagle emoji πŸ†˜
11.16.15 11:25am
Show ready πŸ‘‘
11.15.15 8:45pm
SOLD OUT tonight in Columbus & one week til @3rdandlindsley in Nashville💥 📷: @tyaubs
11.15.15 5:14pm
Your best caption please...
11.15.15 1:45pm
Folks in & near Lancaster OH - we are playing a benefit at Fairfield National Bank tonight and they just released a few more tickets at the door! Come on out - doors at 8:00 / $25. Tomorrow night at Natalies is sold out so if you missed out on Columbus tickets come hang this evening!
11.14.15 7:16pm
Awesome night. If you got any photos from the show tag them with #humminghouse ! Thanks again Knoxville! πŸ“·: @garrettthomson
11.14.15 3:24pm
Thanks for throwing down with us last night Knoxville! We'll be back soon! Columbus - see you tomorrow night at Natalies! 📷: @annaclairscott
11.14.15 9:06am
K N O X V I L L E! Word on the street is the secret show tonight is sold out BUT @knoxmusicscene released a handful of tickets to our portion of the show ONLY for $11! Get yours πŸ”œβ€ΌοΈ
11.13.15 11:14am
Twitter
Bumped into @mipsomusic in GA at one of the few places that meet all our dietary touring band needs... @panerabread . πŸ₯—πŸπŸ₯–Great to πŸ‘€ y’all! πŸ‘‹πŸΌ
23 hours ago
Last two shows of the year! Athens tonight at @FoundryAthens and Atlanta tomorrow at The Earl. Bring a squad Georgia πŸ‘! https://t.co/cHd2bE8pMD
1 day ago
RT replying to @jmielcarz @beccamancari @workplaybham : Atlanta is still on my friend! Bring a squad.
3 days ago
RT replying to @hitupg @lightning100 : Thanks Gary! I’m glad you dug it. - JWT
3 days ago