Unable to avert their eyes from the unravelling world around them, London alternative rock band, HYMNS have returned with their new 'Reset' EP.
Plucking from a wealth of genres and pop culture references, for the past four years, HYMNS have been making epic and ethereal rock songs that exist to enlighten and energise all who bear witness. With thick Baritone vocals and rousing choral hooks, their music is appropriately bittersweet. Whereas the infectious guitars and driving bass lines of their debut London EP documented the inherent solitude of inner city living, the band have since been looking outwards, obliged to think bigger about the sinister direction of today’s global politics. Woven from stories of personal experience, the band’s unapologetic honesty supports the weight of their music’s sturdy foundations.
We had the chance to speak with the band on the new release and more...
Introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about the band!
"We are HYMNS. We play alternative rock that sits somewhere between alternative rock and post-punk. I (Oli) sing and play the guitar, Giorgio is on bass and keys, Amy plays drums and backing vocals, and Filippo plays the guitar."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about the place?
"We formed in London. Pre-pandemic it was the live music scene. There was always some decent music to go out to watch and listen to. Beyond the music the dining scene is incredible. And then there are sunny days in the numerous green parks!"
How did you meet each other and when did you decide to start making music together?
"I’d like to say we all met at university had an instant connection, but that would be a bare-faced lie. The truth of the matter is the internet and good old word of mouth. A gumtree ad to find Giorgio who’d just arrived in Italy, he then suggested Filippo on guitar. Amy got involved through a vocal coach I was having lessons with at the time."
Is there a story behind the band name?
I'm not religious so it has nothing to do with faith. The word hymn (to me) has always had unworldly connotations. People have often sung them to find strength and elevation. They're powerful and often quite epic. I guess I decided on the name HYMNS as a statement of intent, I wanted to make music that is equally epic and powerful but in the scope of rock n roll and without the religious connotations."
Who are your biggest inspirations, musically?
"Mainstays have always been Radiohead, Neil Young and The Smiths. For this EP we were inspired by 70’s acts Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Ennio Morricone, alongside more new wave acts like Depeche Mode and The Cure."
How would you describe your sound in the form of a hashtag?
What’s been your stand out moment so far?
"Playing a full house at OxJam a couple of years ago. That seems like an eternity now!"
You've just released your EP, 'Reset', tell us about it! and why should our readers listen to it?
"I think it’s our most ambitious recording to date. It plucks from a number of styles and is difficult to put in a box. If you’re a fan of Ennio Morricone, post-punk and more vintage sounds like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd we think you’ll definitely find something to like musically! There’s plenty going on in the songs and I like to think that new gems in the music will be discovered on repeated listens. Lyrically speaking it’s pretty heavy and deals with real-life ontemporary issues, be it in the form of social commentary or storytelling, but there is a sense of resolve and hope in there. These issues shouldn’t and can’t be ignored so nor should these songs!"
Do you have a favourite track from the EP, if so which and why?
"For me (Oli) it’s ‘Concrete Skies’. We wanted to take the big contemporary political and social issues and drop them in the context of a song that combined elements of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks with the grandiose of Pink Floyd and heavy guitar hooks of Black Sabbath. Imagine a ‘Western Rock Opera’! This was a little over-ambitious considering the time we had in the studio, but we’ve never been a band to make things easy for ourselves! I think we achieved much of what we set out to do. I should say that the 3rd track ‘Sirens’ seems to be the most popular!"
Finally, what else do you have planned for 2021?
"I’ve been writing a few bits and pieces in lockdown. I’ll carry on writing songs until I think we have enough for an EP or maybe a mini album. Hopefully, in between writing sessions, we will do a few gigs!"
'Reset' is out now.
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