GHUM: Bitter.

This might be all over the place because I am SO excited to write about the debut record by GHUM. It’s out on Friday, and once you hear this record- nothing will be the same again. And in other news, I now have a cat so I’m going to do my best to make a little Punk out of her. I think she’ll tolerate the beautiful noise I play. Speaking of beautiful noise, let’s get into the best record of 2022, shall we?

You know about my love for the band GHUM, that’s been apparent for a long time now. They encompass everything I love about music, everything I want from music and have a sound that I’m just obsessed with. When I listen to them, I get that same rush I did when I first heard TwoFiftyFour, L.A.Witch, The Kills and Warpaint for the first time. That same kick I got from hearing Seventeen Seconds by The Cure. That same rush I got when I heard The Cramps for the first time. In short, this band have that same thing about them that just makes me fall in love with music all over again. With a debut record, a lot can be expected. As a fan, you just want to finally hear the finished product. I can’t imagine the stress that comes with it from being in a band waiting for the world to hear it.

The record opens with Some People- the first big release for this record. The video to this is incredible, and listening to it in an album setting gives a bigger meaning and feeling to the song. I’m all in. I’m hooked. The record makes you want to take a road trip round Europe and forget the world you’re part of for a little while. There’s a lot of escapism on this record, and it’s down to their incredible way of giving you these dark and euphoric anthems. There is something to spooky and special about this record, and when you listen to the likes of Bad Brain, it really does hit you how incredibly talented this band is. Bad Brain may be my favourite song from the record at the moment, but my mind will obviously change. It is just a beautiful record, and I’m not just saying it because I adore this band. I think, if you’ve never listened to GHUM before, this record will blow your mind. They’re just the perfect band and even though they’ve only played Manchester once, it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. They’re a band that you just HAVE to see live, and my god I’m so glad I have. With this record, you can quickly imagine how they will sound live. Songs like Over And Over, Bitter and Deceiver have this sound to them that make you long for a GHUM gig.

The way Laura sings “I hate you” on Over And Over is so gut-wrenching. You really feel the disdain and disappointment in her voice, and for a singer to project their emotions into a song like this is truly something to admire. You’re just fascinated by how she delicately sings of her hate- that fragility is a rare moment on the record because for the most part, she delivers the songs with this toughness- not intimidating at all, the opposite. She kind of gives you some of her strength. All of them make you feel empowered in a way that you didn’t think a band/record/song could. This is a truly special record from start to finish, and all that’s in between.

Every single song on this record deserves your complete and utter attention. Not only will you fall madly in love with the songs, but you’ll end up being besotted with how exceptional they are as a band. Jojo is one of the best guitarists you’ll ever hear. The way Jojo plays is remarkable, and the way MJ perfectly compliments her with her bass playing is just stunning. They both add this mystic groove to every single song. This is perfectly fitted with the drumming skills of Vicki- and on the song Echo, that’s where you really REALLY hear this glorious marriage of sounds. There’s chaos but there’s calmness on this record, and that’s part of the appeal.

The main reason as to why this is the best record of the year? Because it sounds like everything, you’d want your favourite band to sound like. If you’re looking for a record to get lost in or a record to listen to whilst you try tame your mind- this is for you. Stick some headphones on and blast this record in your ears. There is so much to love and cherish about this record. From the lyrics, to the way the drums sound like waves crashing against your soul and the bass and guitar bringing you back down to provide comfort. It’s just a glorious record and a joy to listen to.

I can only write about this record/anything I write about as a fan; that’s all I know. But trust me- this is the record of the year. Everything you could want and more. I cannot wait to play it religiously as I go to/from work. I can’t wait for the days to get shorter and let the songs take on a different meaning in different seasons. I can’t wait for the world to hear this record. It may be a debut record, but this band know exactly how they want to sound. This sure sound is just a dream to listen to. At times the songs are ethereal and there are times where this fury in Laura’s voice (the ending of Shallow where she belts out “You don’t know me” is SO powerful) every song has moments built into it that stick in your brain. The record ends with a 7 minute delight- Rivers. I won’t spoil it for you, but this may just end up being one of those songs that they use in films to really heighten the suspense.

They’ve done it. So easy. So effortlessly. So slick, so cool, so perfect.

GHUM: Bitter

NEW SINGLE ALERT! GHUM have released the title track from their debut record, Bitter and it is bloody brilliant. I mean, they don’t make bad songs so I guess that’s redundant but honestly- their debut record is going to rip. Laura’s vocals on this are so tough and so snarly. There’s so much power in this band. They all have this ability to just make you wish you were part of the band or wish you could make something like this.

I’m going by what they’ve released previously, and I think it is safe to say that their debut record is going to be nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s out a month today, and I am SO excited to hear it. I’ll probably have to take the day off work to listen to it (I probably would!) So the single Bitter is about, “how the right connection, even for someone that has been beaten up by bad experiences, drives them to go through the risks and fears that new relationships might bring. It’s hopeful, it’s about taking chances.” I think this is properly hammered home with the way Laura sings, “You are the only reason I put myself through this.” We’ve all made exceptions haven’t we. Sometimes it works out but there are times where it didn’t work out, and you’re not sure why you bothered. Laura’s vocals over the electrifying sounds that Vicki, Jojo and Marina MJ bless us with is enough to break the toughest of people. This is a ferocious number with the level of passion that you will always hear and expect from the band. I’ve played this song enough times to know that the record will be just as tough and powerful as this.

GHUM aren’t afraid to be aggressive with their sound, and to show us all exactly how it’s done. At times you feel like you are intruding on something so personal but the more you listen- the more you connect. For me, they are up there with the likes of L.A. Witch, TwoFiftyFour (come back please!!!) and Warpaint. There’s this dark but ethereal sound that has you hooked right away. I’ve listened to Bitter a handful of times on my break now, and I can pretty much call it one of their most heaviest and mind-blowing songs.

I’m not one for wishing time away, but I really cannot wait for the 17th June!

*Photo Credit: Paul Phung

GHUM: The Castle Hotel, Manchester. 15th July 2019.

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Of all the gigs I’ve ever been to, the show tonight was the hottest and most sweatiest. A tiny venue with no air con but who cares? One of the most exciting bands around played here tonight, and it was something truly special.

Their debut EP came out a couple of weeks ago, and it is one of the most remarkable and gorgeous records of the year. It is a euphoric dream of a record, and has the most intense sounds and ethereal feelings within the songs. It is perfect; so how does it come across live?  Divine. Absolutely divine.

Before I get into their more known songs, they played a new one called California which I am obsessed with! I wish it was on The Coldest Fire, but it definitely proves that they are pretty much the best band around in this country. For me, I got the same feeling I did when I first heard TwoFiftyFour and Warpaint years and years ago. They have that same dark yet euphoric feel to their sound.

 

 

Their live show is something else. This was their first time that they had played Manchester, and it honestly felt like a band that were “coming home” in a way. Everyone was just having the best time, even if it felt like we were in a sauna. For a band that have put out their debut EP, they just make you feel like they’ve been around forever. They are so sure of their sound, and that just makes them even more inspiring.

I loved finally seeing 1000 Men and Saturn. These are two songs I’ve had on repeat more than usual, and the live versions of these songs are truly mind-blowing. GHUM are band that you cannot help but fall in love with from your very first listen. They have something about them that just sucks you in, and nothing else comes close to it. They have this colossal sound and presence that you know means that this will probably be one of the last times they play such a small venue. They played the best venue in the world over the weekend, The Shacklewell Arms and honestly, it is the best venue for a band like this. But tonight at The Castle Hotel was something else. It isn’t a big venue, and it has a proper intimate feel to it. A rare treat to have such a band play here, and I think it has the potential to be one of those shows that in decades from now, you’ll be gloating that you were there. Like when the Sex Pistols played the Lesser Free Trade Hall.

The sheer passion in the way they play and deliver these songs is truly astounding and hugely inspiring- they are effortlessly haunting with their sound, and you just want it to consume you. Everything about GHUM just leaves you in awe. You cannot help but feel that you were part of something really special tonight. I hope it is one of those shows that this city talks about for years to come. The crowd were equally as perfect. It’s been known that Manchester crowds are the best, and tonight they really did prove that theory correct.

I think Get Up was the song that really got everyone going. I love how the song vocally is delicate, then the hook comes in and just smacks you in the face. There’s honestly no reason as to why GHUM won’t become massive and win over thousands, and thousands more fans. They are a band that have you hooked immediately and tonight, they fully exposed that notion in ways I’ve never seen a band do before.

 

 

For me, this show is one that will stick with me. When they play bigger venues, this show will still go down as being one of my favourites. The venue may have been a sweat-fest, but it didn’t matter because we were in the presence of one of the best bands around who will undoubtedly go and take over the world.

GHUM: The Coldest Fire EP.

 

 

I want to start this by saying I am going to compare my excitement for this record to when I first heard TwoFiftyFour. Anyone who knows me, or has read anything I’ve ever written knows that this band are massively important to me for so many reasons. It’s that kind of excitement that a kid gets on their birthday; it hits you right in the gut. GHUM are quite possibly, for me, the most exciting band around right now. They have this utterly gorgeous moody sound that you just get lost in, and you know what? It doesn’t matter if you don’t get found.

The EP starts with the powerful Saturn. The bass is what gets you on this, with the drums merging into it. Then the guitar comes in with this infectious riff. Then we are hit with the ethereal vocals. It’s the perfect way to open up this EP. I love the spookiness in this, and it just makes you immediately want more. It has you hooked. GHUM are the kind of band that once you listen to; that’s it. Nothing can touch them. This is how I felt, and still feel about TwoFiftyFour. It’s that heavy sound mixed with something really eerie. I love the sheer intensity GHUM’s music, and I honestly cannot wait to see them next month here in Manchester.

 

 

1000 Men is THE song. It’s so big and so intense. It’s the lyrics, it’s the vocals, it’s the hypnotising sound that just gets you. With this song, you can really imagine it being used in a film or something you know. It’s got that bite to it that just makes you pull really weird faces because you’re all, “Did they just do that? Did the vocals really make that sound? Did the drums really just…holy shit!!” That’s basically how it is when you listen to this one. It’s a beauty. It’s my favourite. I cannot narrow down why, but I just love how it’s got a really deep sound to it. I’ve seen GHUM be compared to Warpaint (which is pretty damn cool!0 and I hear it on this one. It’s like Warpaint meets Melvins. Basically, two bands I am obsessed with. I’m fine with this. The more I listen to this song, the more I can feel my obsession for this band grow. I cannot wait to hear this live, I really can’t. This is the one I’m really excited for. I feel I could write an essay on this song.

I haven’t touched on Get Up because you should know that one by now. The EP ends with In My Head. It’s beautiful, of course. What else would you expect! This record just leaves you wanting more. Four songs isn’t enough, of course but whatever comes next is again just going to blow us all away. In My Head has some really hard-hitting lyrics, and I think it is one of those songs that you play alone. In fact, this is the kind of record that you play through headphones with no one else around. That’s exactly what I’m doing now (I got to work early so I could write this up.) You can hear all different layers in this song; it’s got vulnerability in all the right places and it has this magnetic intensity in the vocals. I honestly cannot praise this record and band enough, but I clearly will try! In My Head has that chilling sound to it that has the potential to spook you- but once you get over that (and you will, immediately!) you can truly hear something really mind-blowing.

The Coldest Fire is nothing short of perfection. With just four songs, GHUM have fully exposed their sound in a way most would hope to do with their debut full length record. They are a band that need to be heard. Whether it’s on your way to work, or laying wide awake at 4am because sleep doesn’t want to be your friend- they are band that will just reinforce every single reason as to why you love music, and why we need bands like GHUM.

 

 

The Coldest Fire is out right now, via Everything Sucks Music. GHUM are also playing a few shows next month. They’re playing London’s finest venue, The Shacklewell Arms on the 13th July, and are playing all over the UK including The Castle here in Manchester on the 15th. They are also playing The Waiting Room in London in October.

Buy the EP right NOW, learn the songs, fall in love with them and come see them on tour.

 

GHUM.

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I had convinced myself that I had written about GHUM ages, and ages ago. Turns out I was wrong. However, as my love for this brilliant band has grown, maybe now is the right time to write about them.

GHUM are a band that have magical, mysterious and ethereal songs. Every song feels like a glorious whirlwind. If you love the way Warpaint take you off into another world, then you are going to be OBSESSED with GHUM. They have that same eerie and mysterious feel to their sound, and for me it is obvious on songs like TV. GHUM have hypnotic grooves and really laid-back vocals that just soothe your soul.

 

 

They’re heading out on tour next month (I’ll post the dates at the end) and I am SO excited to be able to see them here in Manchester. I really cannot wait. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of those shows that just stay with me forever, and I’ll just be in awe of them. I really cannot wait.

I think GHUM are one of those bands that if I started a band, I’d want to have elements of their sound. They are heavy yet ethereal. The only other band I can think of that do this are TwoFiftyFour, and everyone knows how much I adore that band (where do you think the name of my site came from!?) GHUM have this relaxing sound but there is something really heavy there. The heaviness gives the listener this really raw atmospheric feel, and as someone who loves music that provides a moment of escapism, I can safely say that GHUM are pros at this. I love everything about their sound, and it is the kind of sound that I cannot get enough.

The band are based in London but they come from Spain, Essex, Brazil and London. They have a new EP coming out on the 28th June called The Coldest Fire  via Everything Sucks Music. I reckon it’s going to be a collection of dreamy yet haunting songs. The best kind. I hope the songs are beautifully creepy as The Window and I’m The Storm! GHUM are one of those bands that make me realise why I love music so much, and why I love writing about music. This is the kind of sound I want to always hear. I love the layers within the songs, and how with each listen you can pick up on something else to be left in awe of, or a lyric to really connect with.

Undone is the song you’d want playing everywhere you go, like a theme tune. It’s got this eerie feel to it that is so addictive. You can imagine hearing it as you wander city streets late at night whilst the world sleeps. Well, depending on what city you’re in really. If I still lived in London, this would be the perfect song to play whilst on everyone’s favourite trip- the night bus! 253 night bus, that was always a treat.

GHUM are the kind of band you’d hope young kids hear and think, “This is what I want to do!” They’ve got something about them that just fires you up. It’s in songs like Get Up and Witches. I really hope these two songs make their live shows because I reckon they will just be mind-blowing. Especially Get Up- it’s got this brilliant build-up that is so intense, and the vocals are snarly as fuck! I absolutely love this song, and it’s one of the year’s most powerful songs. When you listen to it, you feel tough and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

 

 

In short then, GHUM are the UK’s finest band and if you’re looking for a band to put a fire in your belly or to blow your mind or to just move you like nothing else- then you need to listen to them, obsessively because there’s no other way you can listen to them really.

Here are some tour dates for you:

13th July: The Shacklewell Arms, London

14th July: The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

15th July: The Castle Hotel, Manchester

16th July: The Hug And Pint, Glasgow

19th July: The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

20th July: The Chelsea Inn, Bristol

They are also playing the Roadkill Festival at The Victoria in London 10th-11th August!

Buy the EP at the end of this month, come to the shows and sing your beautiful heart out!

 

*Photo by Poppy Marriott. Please check her work out here!