By: Chris Payne
The bi-costal modern pop duo Human Natural crafts grooves that capture the giddy kinetic hooks of Passion Pit alongside the schoolyard energy of The Go! Team. They’re just a handful of tracks in, but résumés suggest no shortage of bops on the horizon.
From the east coast, the duo features Brooklyn-based vocalist Hannah Winkler, a former member of the currently-on-hiatus indie pop band Secret Someones, which released a very catchy, heavily slept-on debut through Cherrytree Records three years ago. And from L.A. there’s mulit-instrumentalist Brian Robert Jones, seen recently as the owner of the very large afro rocking the bass guitar on tour with Gwen Stefani and alt-pop cognoscenti favorites MUNA. He’s also a producer, recently working an EP from pop-rock up-and-comer Ren Farren we premiered last November.
After starting off last year with a pair of promising singles, we’re glad to share Human Natural’s most promising track to date. Winkler sings about a hot-and-cold lover who’s just not worth the hand-delivered pizzas, personalized hair-braiding, and all the other things that come with the serious relationship she’s pining for. Once the beat gets going, “Fantasy” sounds kind of like the end result of running around your house, setting different bells, alarms, and appliances to go off in rhythmic succession. Speaking to Jones about the the project, and we kind of get what he means when he says his beats just “confused” the musicians he worked with up until he Winker. It’s for the best.
Below, find the brand new track, along with a Q&A with Jones about the world of Human Natural.
How did Human Natural come together?
We got set up in a blind-date writing session in March of 2016 when Hannah was visiting from Brooklyn. We hit it off instantly. I had been making beats and presenting them to people in pop writing sessions, and they just generally confused everyone, until I met Hannah. We instantly bonded over our similar taste in bands and artists and our mutual love for smart pop music. “Wake Up in LA” was the song we wrote the first day we met. We decided to write more together after that and now we have a whole album’s worth of material which is really exciting.
How do you think your experience playing with MUNA and Gwen Stefani influenced the music you’ve made as Human Natural?
I’ve been super fortunate to play with people whose music I love. After playing other people’s songs live so many times, they become ingrained in you and a part of who you are musically. I think the music of everyone I’ve ever played with subliminally comes through with all the music that comes out of me. I think Hannah would say the same about the musicians she accompanies. She also feels like a stronger songwriter and performer after playing in her former band, Secret Someones.
It’s fun for me to be a producer in the sideman world too, because you get to see a bit of an in-depth look at how an artist’s songs are made, and you get to exchange tips and tricks you’ve discovered along the way. For example, I used a synthesizer on “Fantasy” that Naomi [McPherson] from MUNA first turned me onto.
How did “Fantasy” come about?
We actually wrote and recorded “Fantasy” over two days at Hannah’s apartment in Brooklyn. I started with a little loop I had of the drums and bass in the verse. I think lyrically we were coming from a place of frustration in a relationship where you’re giving more than the other person. It’s something we’ve both dealt with in the past, and it was something I was experiencing at the time. It was very therapeutic to come together and write a song that acknowledged those feelings. That’s a helpful first step in processing the events of your life and moving on.
What’s got you excited for the year ahead?
We have a lot more music coming out in the near future. We’ll be putting out our first music video next month which we’re very excited about, and later on in the spring we’ll be releasing our debut LP. We also hope to get more shows on the books, both in L.A. and N.Y.
Find more songs and news from Human Natural on their official SoundCloud page.