Yes, there is another white male electronic duo gaining momentum on social media today, especially in South Korea, other than The Chainsmokers.
HONNE is an electro-soul duo based in London consisting of two men — James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck. After meeting in university, the duo have since created music under the name HONNE, which is Japanese for “real feelings.”
HONNE, unlike other prominent electronic duos such as The Chainsmokers, step away from the club-banging paradigms and lean more towards their own brand of electronic music. Instead of auto-tuned vocals, Clutterbuck sinks into the soulful atmosphere with his somber vocals as heavy percussion and beats cut through the song; HONNE makes sure the melodies captivate the listener. As with any debut, their first single “Warm on a Cold Night” encapsulated their brand of electrosoul – intimate, ambient, and, as the name of the genre suggests, soulful – before it built up to its mantra, paired with buzzing synths and coarse percussion.
Earlier this year, HONNE released their first album under the title of their debut single. Mixing both glossy synths with tinkering beats, HONNE continues to portray different facets of style, from the jazzy chord progressions of “One at a Time Please” to the rubbery beats of “FHKD.” Even the samples (from the children at “Treat You Right” to the ocean waves of “Coastal Love”) enhance the immersive mood of the music, and Izzy Bizu perfectly plays the role of Clutterbuck’s new love interest. Though they may seem too simple for their own good, the lyrics on this record are casual, if not intimate, enough for the listeners to be absorbed in the conversations. From the heartbreaking love triangle in the narrative of “Someone That Loves You” to the breakdown of a relationship of “All in the Value,” it may be difficult to not relate to the stories HONNE is spinning.
We ask a few individuals about their favorite HONNE songs:
“[My favorite HONNE song is] ‘Warm on a Cold Night.’ It reminds me of my ex…” – Anonymous
“[My favorite HONNE song has] gotta be ‘Warm on a Cold Night’ because after that little voiceover, the beat just drops and it’s pure euphoria. [HONNE] really knows how to get you going.” – Anonymous
“I like ‘3am’ because I love the laid-back tone and the amazing lyrics. These are the kind of lyrics that could infatuate girls. My favorite line is probably ‘and I feel like a wave passed when I’m ‘round you.’ Also, the lyrics of what the man is saying perfectly matches HONNE’s voice.” – Anonymous
“I love ‘All in the Value.’ The sound is so polished, the vocals are husky and all the more charming – it’s definitely something to listen to at night.” – Anonymous
“I love HONNE because they represent a kind of EDM in which you can truly listen to its lyrics instead of getting lost in the cacophony. It’s really different from other EDM artists I have listened to in the past…I’ll probably say that ‘All In The Value’ is my favorite song.” – Anonymous
“Honestly, I like ‘Someone That Loves You’ the best. When you read between the lines of both Izzy Bizu and HONNE’s vocalist is saying and understand what they are going through, you see this unforgiving love triangle that especially reaches its peak during the bridge when Izzy Bizu realizes that even though she loves him, she knows that he is already loved by someone who loves him as equally as she does, so she has no choice but to admit to her defeat. It may seem like a stupid choice to have loved him in the first place, but love is a pretty stupid thing, isn’t it?” – Anonymous
As a student attending Global Vision Christian School, Joseph finds himself far from the extravagance of Seoul and, instead, in the humble countryside of Eumseong. A self-identified “pop culture freak” in the middle of nowhere, Joseph yearns for the excitement of the city life and finds his only solace to be the opportunity to share his love for entertainment. When you see him, he’s probably listening to music that (unfortunately) nobody has heard of.