The upcoming debut release from My Little Hum, Remembering Houses, is a glittery pop mixture of shimmering guitars, infectious melodies, and earworm female vocal harmonies wrapped in a thoughtful, introspective bow.
My Little Hum
While enrolled in a geography class about San Francisco, Yuri Jewett (vocalist/bassist) began to craft story-like songs reflecting upon the place she called home for more than two decades. Her husband, Dan Jewett (guitarist/bassist) joined her by adding his melodic touch and his perspective on their lives together in the Bay Area during the 1990s and beyond. San Francisco is a landscape that has transformed — and going back to remember those places where they slept, drank, and walked the streets late at night was the first step in discovering that there were nine songs waiting to see the light of day.
My Little Hum’s debut album, Remembering Houses, is a 30-minute tour of diverse songwriting that also maintains a steady narrative. Yuri’s dizzy interplay of Throwing Muses–like vocals and Dan’s snaky guitar lines reminiscent of bands like Television are at play on the album’s eye-opener “Rise Over Run,” which pays homage to the push and pull of longtime artists and new techies climbing the “same old tree” in the city.
The songs continue to flow and next you find yourself in a candlelit cabin at “Steep Ravine” on the Northern California coast; or stuck “Sideways” somewhere between the sun and the fog; followed by a “Geography Lesson” about bathymetry and altimetry where Yuri sings: “derelict disaster check, I don’t expect we’ll win” referring to yet more landscape changes coming to a city that will now have to contend with rising seas.
In “Take Care of You” the duo confesses to darker days in their past, taking the listener to places like Edinburgh and Italy without ever leaving the boundary of San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood; and finally the album lands on the unexpected and faraway resting place of the Canadian province of Alberta, a two part story about the demise of Yuri’s family farmhouse and her grandmother’s departure from the waves of grain to a new urban life — the profound tale of a beginning to an end, and a tale of transition just as relevant today as it was then.
All of the songs on Remembering Houses feature the songwriting of Dan and Yuri (formerly of the Hollyhocks) with the exception of a reimagined Buzzcocks cover “Ever Fallen In Love.” The duo received a little help behind the board from producer/engineer Allen Clapp (Orange Peels), and this album appears on Clapp’s Mystery Lawn Music label. Gabriel Coan (Orange Peels) and Bob Vickers (Incredible Vickers Brothers) compliment each other’s percussive style as they trade drum duty; and lap steel was provided by the Super Genius himself, Myles Boisen (Tom Waits, Fred Frith) — a small, yet mighty roster of some pretty talented people. Finally, original illustrations by Oakland artist Yvette Buigues (Heavy Black Line) provide a picture for each song as you turn the pages of the booklet available with the CD.
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