I was once told that the music scene in Florida was awful. Usually a blanket statement like that would be enough to ring my alarm bells but I've been to Florida a few times and can understand why musical motivation would be so low; they have sunshine, oranges and Universal Studios. I was obviously wrong as acts such as ANR, and now Hear Hums, are currently representing their state in a beautiful way. We caught up Mitch and Kenzie to give them the 'Introducing' treatment. Where are you guys from? We’re originally from West Palm Beach, and recently relocated to Gainesville, Florida. How long have you been recording together? Pretty much since February 2009. How would you describe your music? It’s hard to put our own words on it, but Bao Le-Huu from the Florida publication Orlando Weekly has stated “their music may deal in florid electro-psychedelic experimentalism but it throbs with a forceful tribal heart”. What would you consider your main musical influences? Mitch – Múm has been a band I’ve always come back to over the years, so it’d say they are a big musical influence for me. I’m into the “band” sound of anything from math-rock-ish Hella and Maps and Atlases to indie pop like old Death Cab or Rilo Kiley albums. In contrast, I like imaginative soundscapes of more electronic/non-representational music, a big influence in that regard has been Electric Birds. Classical and contemporary music really impacts my music process too; I listen to a lot of Frédéric Chopin, and Kronos Quartet. And then I think there’s a list of bands Kenzie and I listen to together mutually like Animal Collective and Huun Huur Tu. Kenzie – Well, as far as what is having the greatest impact on me at this moment, I’m really vibing to haunting, soft, magical type stuff like Lau Nau or Yuko Ikoma. I’m most enthralled with more ethnic Eastern music; Ali Farka, Konono, Huun Huur Tu as above. When I’m cleaning house or in that type of mood sometimes I put on Astrud Gilberto. Really in to Dirty Projectors, Bjork , Lucky Dragons of course. But yeah, Mitch and I are usually pretty aligned with what we’re into. We always share our favourite stuff. In terms of your roots, do feel any musical connection to it or indeed to any scene surrounding it? Kenzie – Yes. Every song I’ve heard, band I’ve been in to and experience I’ve had has led me to be the person I am now and therefore express myself musically the way I currently do. Even stuff I wouldn't listen to now or haven’t been in to for years has at least helped to solidify my “style” or led me to realize what I do resonate with and helped me to more efficiently express myself. Mitch – Unconsciously, the music I listened to growing up is a huge reference point for how I make music now. Sure there are conscious considerations when thinking about arrangement, progression, timbre, etc, but the level of satisfaction I feel when listening back to something I’m working on relies largely upon a sub-conscious databank of my musical past that tell me what’s pleasing or not.
What element of your music most sets you apart from other bands around? We wouldn’t say this is something that necessarily sets us apart, but from Psyche Cycles forward we want each album to be its own conceptual piece. Rather than stringing together a collection of songs intending them to be heard separately, we let the songs grow together, evolving until the album becomes its own symbiotic world. What are your plans for 2011? We’re planning on releasing our third album this year; we’re already like eight songs in. We’re trying to branch out of Florida and play a string of shows in some new places. We’ve been playing as a duo for Psyche Cycles, but for the new material, we’re planning on performing as a four-piece.