Upon first listen to the new Hear Hums record—especially if familiar with prior recordings—one has to wonder if Malaise is more than just an album title. The 10-song long play is awash in ambient minor chords that belies much of upbeat and rhythm-heavy drone of their previous work. That's not to say it's an entirely sad record; with moments of enlightenment strewn about, we're given hope that there is some momentous occasion lurking behind the corner… or at least by record's end. But these prove to be moments of brevity in an otherwise ominous world of 9-plus minute songs with very few vocals (and an equally ominous cover image). As it's title would suggest, general discomfort or uneasiness is the theme of Malaise, which is just something you're going to have to get comfortable with.
Malaise is available now for purchase at Hear Hums bandcamp. You can stream, and read Mitch Myers origin story for the album, below.
The initial formation process for Malaise begun in summer of 2011 during the writing and recording of our EP (released last fall). It has been ever-changing since then. The sound was achieved with the use of congas, keyboards through pedals, floor toms, bowing glockenspiel and banjo, kalimba, acoustic guitar, accordion, violin, pitch shifters, sampler, etc. The field recordings of rain and dripping faucets throughout the album were recorded in the house we used to live together in Gainesville where most of the album was recorded.
Brian Bo, who releases music as Bois, joined Kenzie and I on tour late 2012 where we tried out songs from Malaise. While his contributions didn't end up on the album, performing the material live as a three piece brought back a new energy and informed the recording. In 2013, Brian and I toured a couple times as Peace Arrow & Bois, which also brought perspective to the Hear Hums record.