The Howl & The Hum

Contact Details:

York Road, Leeds, LS9 9NT

01132480887

Leeds Inspired

The Howl & The Hum

15th November 2024

“This is deathbed songwriting, everything you’d only express when you know you’re about to die,” Sam Griffiths says. “It’s what you wish you might have said, without worrying about the consequences.”

As The Howl & The Hum, Griffiths has spent the best part of the last decade honing this capacity for raw, vulnerable storytelling combined with music that artfully traverses everything from finger-picking folk to indie, country and electronica. With the release of his second album, Same Mistake Twice, Griffiths confronts the pain and chaos of recent tumultuous years across 12 tracks of his most direct songwriting to date. Surviving the breakup of his band, the global pandemic and reckoning with his future in music, Griffiths opens with the lines “I never make the same mistake twice/ I always aim for a third time,” before spiralling into finely-spun tales of dread, anxiety and self-destruction. “It took me a few years to get back to writing,” he says. “I wanted to be able to look back and laugh at my anxieties at what I was going through, to fill that pain and difficulty with words and melodies.”

Griffiths’ musical journey began with picking his way through pop punk and indie rock as an angsty teen, before finding his voice after an accidental discovery of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde in his dad’s record collection. Inspired by Dylan’s poeticism, Griffiths started gigging at open mics most nights during his time studying at York University and gradually built a following drawn to his knack for recounting tales of the curious figures he’d met amid the city’s nightlife. By 2016, he had joined forces with a trio of fellow open mic night regulars to form The Howl & The Hum and the following year the group released their debut EP, Godmanchester Chinese Bridge.

Developing a reputation for charismatic live shows that embodied soft balladry as much as explosive self-expression, the group went on to release their debut album, Human Contact, to critical acclaim in 2020. Produced by Jolyon Thomas (Slaves, Royal Blood, Daughter), the record pushed the boundaries of guitar music across 13 tracks of driving drums, synthesised guitars and atmospheric electronics. “We spent eight years building up to our debut, developing different ways to express what we were writing,” Griffiths says. “We were listening to everything from Radiohead to New Order, Robyn and Burial, creating moments between the electronic and acoustic where it felt like the music was breathing.”