Album Review: Hyooman – Pilot

Hyooman are one of the bands that I’ve discovered in the last year that I’ve got a lot of time for. There’s just something about their unique brand of grungy alternative rock that keeps me coming back to their music. Now they’ve released a debut album of ten short, sharp tracks. It’s called Pilot.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Sam Bramble

Hyooman are Leng Moua, McCoy Seitz, Victor Pokorny, Elise Bremer and Dillon Marchus, five humans from Minneapolis, USA who have converged to make music that is not quite lo-fi, not quite rock, but nestling somewhere in between. Their album opener Discourse, has a pop edge, channelling influences from early Weezer. Its upbeat instrumentals mask dark, storytelling lyrics, which tell a lot in its one minute 40 run time. It’s a great start.

Track two Kid is one I’ve shared before, and it brings a slice of dreamy nostalgia to proceedings here. Its soaring chorus is one I enjoyed being reintroduced to, beautifully contrasting the melancholic feel of the verse.

Mud Water comes next, a beautiful piece of poetry on death, delivered through male-female vocal harmonies. It’s an early highlight. It’s followed by So Proud, which features jangly guitar, subtle electronica, and a healthy dose of commentary on Capitalism. Then, the first half of the album is rounded off by I Feel Fine. It has a brighter feel to it, speaking of youthful hedonism.

The second half of the album is kicked off by Month End, another previously shared single, and a track that made it into our recent best of playlist. It’s a lovely piece of psychedelia which adds yet another layer to Hyooman’s sound in the context of the album. It’s also one of the album’s longest tracks, and one you can get easily get lost in.

Don’t Wanna Be is a short, stripped-back image-laden vignette, then it’s In A Bad Way. For all Hyooman’s talk of being out and getting into scrapes, In A Bad Way is the counterpoint. It talks of the darker side of party culture and its vulnerability makes it another album highlight.

The album’s penultimate track is No Accountability. More social commentary, it speaks of selfishness in society. Yet, it’s not delivered in a judgemental way, rather a simple plea for more consideration. It’s a perfect example of Hyooman’s ability to say something important while remaining engaging.

Then, things are brought to a close by Sometimes. At four and a half minutes long, it feels like an odyssey compared to what has come before. Opening with a steady percussive groove and a laidback guitar riff, it’s a song that develops as it goes. Keys join in, with layers of vocals, all building to a big finish.

Pilot is a fantastic reminder of how much I dig Hyooman’s sound, and why I want to share it with whoever will listen. This collection of tracks feels both fresh and familiar. Hyooman draw on influences from all the right places and make them their own. Lyrically, they have something to say, but keep it relatable. I honestly can’t recommend this album enough. You can give it a listen below.