Hugh are the London based-quartet forging a genuinely unique sound: consisting of two vocalists (Joshua Idehen and Izzy Brooks), a guitarist (Tino Kolarides) and producer, Andy Highmore, Hugh create dreamy pop with a touch of the spoken word about it. Sometimes minimal, sometimes lush, the band are part Beach House, part Grizzly Bear and part their own original outlook. A few months back they released their debut track, “Learn To Fall”, which was a fantastic slice of electro-pop and this was followed up with a lyrically elevated and poetic cut called “Almost Done, Almost There”. These guys are certainly forging a uniquely ambitious path with their brand of well-attuned melancholia, so we were pleased to be able to sit down with them to chat about their pub-meet beginnings, their future plans, and the difficulties of on-stage-creasing.
The first time you met is said to be quite interesting. Tell us about that.
Josh: I met Andy at some pub in South London, I was trying to shazam a Beach House song and he was like ‘if you find out which Beach House song that is I’d like to know please’. It was their cover of Queens song play the game. We got talking about music and we were both looking to start a band so we exchanged numbers. Soon as we realised we liked each other enough to keep working together. I met Izzy at Bestival – asked her to join and Andy roped in his mate, Tino. Boom.
Izzy: I watched Josh perform a poem about his dad which made me cry.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Josh: It’s Beach House atm. I saw them live at Shepherd’s Bush. It’s their songwritng and production (and stage design, whoa) that are on point. Got Teen Dream on vinyl before I even got a player. Dedication, mate.
Izzy: For me, heavily inspired by Lykke Li and Lauryn Hill.
Do you think there will come a point where you feel as though you’ve made it?
Josh: I’m happy I’m in a place I can make something and people like that thing I made.
Izzy: I think going on the road would confirm things for me, maybe when there’s a bottle of Prosecco on the rider
Support from Annie Mac and Huw Stephens is a pretty big deal. How did you guys feel when you found out about it?
Josh: Well I did a dance in my living room and played tekken online for an hour and didn’t lose a single match. There are more than a few faves I only discovered through Huw Stephens – Hjaltalin for one- so to get his recommendation is an honor.
Izzy: You get that email through on a Sunday night, tipping you off that they might play your song and there you are huddled together with your mates on your bed with a cup of tea, hugging the radio and waiting for them to announce you, it feels amazing every-time.
Working together with friends can often be hard. Do you all get on?
Josh: Yes. Andy is stubborn and I have my artist-panic side but ultimately we’re pretty supportive and nice with each other. So far.
Izzy: Yes, but we do get seriously moody with each other when we are hungry, luckily the best Curry house in South is like 1 minute from Andy’s studio.
What’s the best bit about making music together?
Josh: The tea. The Music. Performing live. The in jokes.
Izzy: Yep – the tea – although I feel I am the one making it too often.
What’s the dream?
Josh: One really, really, really, really, really good album, followed by one really, really, really, long and exciting tour..
Izzy: Having a stage large enough for us to fully dance around on.
Talk us through the inspiration for your new single Learn To Fall/ Almost Done There.
Josh on Almost Done, Almost There: Andy has a bit of grass outside his kitchen with a glass sliding door between them. One time, when I was over his house working on a beat he’d made, I imagined two people, one outdoors smoking and the other indoors absent mindedly stirring a cuppa. The verse pretty much wrote themselves.
Izzy on Learn To Fall: Learn to fall was about putting someone in my past to rest. I trusted Josh to be the voice that echo’d what I was trying to say and he really got it.
How are you feeling about your debut album coming out soon?
J&I: We’re really eager and excited to get it out there. It’s got some bangers on there..
Tell us about the funniest thing that’s happened to you as a band?
Izzy: We performed a really intimate, unplugged set for Sofa Sounds once where you could literally hear a pin drop. During a really emotive song Joshua sung ‘I’m so out of shorts’ instead of ‘sorts’. I can’t explain how much I struggled, how just one word can set you off. I remember pinching the nails into my hand to stop myself from creasing, the way we carried on and stayed in the zone is beyond me.