This five-song EP, the first release from Humans, a new Vancouver duo made up of Robbie Slade (on guitar and vocals) and Peter Ricq (on sequencer/synthesizer and backup vocals) is one to keep an eye on. This is a remarkably assured and surprisingly well-recorded debut effort for such a new act. At the time of publication, you could count on one hand the number of shows these guys have played together.
There’s an undeniable pop sensibility to the EP and the duo have an ear for great hooks, with the beats bursting out of Ricq’s Roland MC-505 just begging to be cranked up to 11. Based on the instrumentation and pure danceability of these songs, electro-pop seems like the most apparent stylistic touchstone on first listen. But you can hear a lot more influences seeping in, such as the reggae rhythms provided by syncopated guitar on “Bike Home” and by organ on “Dub Paris.” While the slinky bass line and crooning falsetto on “Witness” provide a funky, soulful feel reminiscent of Prince. It’s impressive how Humans manage to combine these variegated influences into a cohesive sound.
This d.i.y. disc is recorded, produced and distributed by the band and there should be a new version with additional tracks available soon. Humans is perfect party music and if this excellent debut is a sign of things to come, the duo should have No Fun City up and dancing again soon.