In 2018, unless an artist has a Drake-like grip on the charts, it’s tough to directly gauge success. Seven-digit streams don’t always translate to actual fans at shows. One act might draw the attention of every tastemaker going, while still failing to sell more than a handful of physical records.
In the case of London duo HONNE – Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher – their time in the spotlight has been disorientating. Success has paved every step, but tracking where it comes from has proved a tough task. One week they’re selling out a 3,000 capacity show in their hometown, the next they’re headliners at a festival in South Korea, playing to 20,000 people, and shortly after they’re jet-setting to LA to collaborate with other artists. In this age when anyone can access music from virtually anywhere, HONNE’s 2016 debut LP ‘Warm on a Cold Night’ has been embraced by different corners of the globe (the album went triple-platinum in South Korea), a swarm of fans all equally obsessed with the pair’s skill in writing relatable, emotion-fuelled, romantic pop.
For their next move, instead of getting caught up in different audiences, vast territories and the demands of a world-spanning fanbase, they focused on themselves. Placing a microscope to their own lives – the jet-setting highs and lows of being in a band, the relationships they tried to hold up back home – they emerged with a touching, personal second album with its own universal appeal.
‘Love Me / Love Me Not’ - HONNE's new album coming out on August 24th 2018 - captures the duality of life’s ups and downs, and the balancing act of navigating between two states at once. Whether it’s the honeymoon period high of a relationship, the frustration of a long-distance separation, the fear of losing someone close, Andy’s lyrics dial in at the reality of most people’s lives. The record acknowledges that for every peak, a challenge is round the corner; and equally, that whenever life throws everything at once, better times are ahead.