Low Hummer are a six-piece outfit consisting of Dan Mawer (vocals/guitar), Aimee Duncan (vocals/guitar), John Copley (guitar), Jack Gallagher (bass), Stephanie Hebdon (keyboard/guitar) and Joe Gray (drums), who combine anthemic garage rock with synth experimentation, warranting their need for such an array of musicians.
They are on the brink of releasing their debut album Modern Tricks For Living on September 17th through renowned label Dance To The Radio Records. The album comes amidst incredible reception to the current singles already out in the world, having gained airplay across various BBC Radio Stations which has resulted in Introducing stage slots at Reading & Leeds Festival.
Following on from that, they have been invited to support 90’s giants, and personal heroes of the band, Manic Street Preachers in Halifax this month.
The album was recorded at the well regarded Nave Studios in Leeds by producer and synthesizer specialist Matt Peel, seemingly making him the perfect man for the job.
The main director of the project, Dan Mawer, uses the band as a vessel to seek some sense of a world of increasing confusion, alienation, manipulation and disinformation. In his ponderings, he and the band have amassed an impressive collection of music and lyricism which is shared amongst him and Aimee Duncan in dual vocal performances.
Excited to hear more, we caught up with Dan, Aimee and Stephanie before their slot at Leeds Festival on the Saturday.
So you played at Reading festival yesterday and have headed straight over to Leeds today, how was the reception down there?
Dan: It was good, obviously being on the BBC Introducing Stage is a mixture. Because you are hoping for good luck with times, and with people wandering from stage to stage, you just don’t know what to expect.
Aimee:It’s all you can really hope for.
Dan: But it was good, lots of smiley faces, and it was a great set.
Have you attended Leeds festival before?
Dan: Only two of us have, John and Joe, so it’s all new for the rest of us! It’s a really cool festival.
So you all met and formed in Hull, did you grow up together?
Dan: No, we all just met mutually. Hull is such a tight knit community and everyone knows each other. I’m a promoter within the city so I’ve put quite a lot of bands on, and I was in a few previous bands. Aimee was playing amazing country and acoustic music, and would buy tickets for all the events I was putting on and never show up, so I thought she seems like the perfect band member *laughing*. So even though we were all part of this close knit community, we were still sort of strangers when we first started.
Your debut album Modern Tricks For Living is out on September 17th. Was it written in lockdown or is it a product of something longer?
Aimee: There’s a few songs from even before we started the band, but yeah a lot of it came through lockdown. There was a lot of sending demos and drop boxes to each other!
Stephanie: Everything was recorded remotely in lockdown, then we took it to Leeds at The Nave.
What was your reasoning behind choosing The Nave?
Dan: I’ve worked with Matt Peel before so he seemed the perfect choice to produce the album. He’s a lovely man until you start recording with him *laughing*. Then he’s very scary!
Did he bring a lot of new ideas into the album?
Dan: We wanted to use synths more and he was well into it which was great. All the ideas and references we took, he had way cooler ideas, and he wanted to push in a direction that was a bit more niche. So songs like ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Human Behaviour’ took a gradual progression into sounding different than we originally first set out. We changed so much in the studio.
So being a six piece, I imagine there is a lot of musical arrangement to work out?
Stephanie: Don’t even talk about it!
Is there one main director amongst you keeping it all together?
Stephanie: Dan is the babysitter – very reluctantly.
Dan: Well the music, I do most of it, but I love seeing what everyone can do with it too. Then we all bring it in and if it doesn’t land within 30 seconds then it’s 5 hours of my life wasted. Then if it does, it’s off to the producer to see if they decide whether it’s rubbish or not. So it’s a very painful process.
Aimee: But it’s getting better every time.
Onto upcoming shows. You’re supporting Manic Street Preachers in Halifax, which is the biggest support slot you’ve had so far.
Dan: Yeah, we’re very excited, we can’t wait. I mean the first two albums were my teenage years, I absolutely loved them. There’s lyrics on there that I still come back to now. You could never write something as good as those first two albums. I mean, you could try, or you could just support them instead!
How did that come about?
Aimee: We got an email off our manager basically telling us the stage times.
Dan: He didn’t even ask us, he was basically telling us that we were doing it! No one kicked up a fuss though.
And after that is your hometown album launch show in Hull, what can fans expect?
Dan: I think it’s just going to be a big emotional release, because the album will be out, and a lot of people know a lot of the songs already. So being able to play them all live is going to be really good. There’s only a few they might not have heard. I really want to move on to the next thing already. Package that off and move onto the new stuff.
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PHOTO: SHOOT J MOORE