Meet Black Bird Hum and their chilled-out reggae sound in new single, Say You Want
The constantly-growing band bring a smooth, 60s-infused reggae sound to the table ahead of a bunch of dates across the next few months.
Although known as one of those upbeat, party-leaning reggae bands, Australian group Black Bird Hum have dimmed things down a touch for their newest single Say You Want. Arriving today, Say You Want combines this romantic 60s sound with their traditional reggae roots, which all come together to create this super smooth and low-key single which is easy to indulge in. It's also got a pretty romantic theme to it too, matching the single's relaxed tone perfectly: "The lyrics start off from a pretty standard boy meets girl angle, but the story had a bit of a mind of its own and by the time the bridge comes around, it’s pretty clear our hero just isn't getting the message that the girl’s not vibing on him," says singer Jon Panic on the single. "You want him to move on but he doesn’t. And then we’ve run out verses to write his redemption in, so we have to leave him hanging with that tension. Maybe there needs to a Part 2 to this track where he comes good."
The group, which as you're about to find out started off as a three-piece but has now swelled to an uncountable number of bandmates, will be touring around the country over the next few months for a bunch of headline shows and festival slots. Get to know the group better and check out their returning single below, and then, dive into that full list of tour dates at the bottom.
Tell us about yourselves?
We’re a band from Sydney that has grown from your standard 3-4 piece outfit into something more closely resembling a burgeoning religious cult. I’m not even sure how many people are in the band anymore. We did a gig recently with 15 on stage though. We’re from all corners of this fine city, so if we are a cult, maybe this dank, musty city is our god.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
Reggae tunes. The rhythms are all grounded in roots reggae; so the drums and bass - they’re holding down reggae grooves, but our melodies and harmonies are a little bit folky, a little bit punk sometimes.
The whole cult has spent the last two summers holed up in a house in the NSW Southern Highlands. We play ping-pong a little, eat and drink a little, lie on the road and stare at the stars, and otherwise play music the whole time we’re there. That’s how writing has evolved for us. Truly collaborative and immersive.
Production-wise we just do everything, mostly, ourselves. A friend of ours Pauly B has a great space we track the rhythm section in, but everything else is overdubbed at home. We can't afford to do things any more fancily than that.
Can you tell us about your new single, Say You Want?
A long-time collaborator of ours Billy Fox (Chris Baker), came down to the Southern Highlands with us last year. On his drive down he’d spent the whole time, as he wound through the forest, listening to the album Kaya by the Wailers. It’s filled with a lot of really beautiful lead guitar and keys lines. The guitar lines, in particular, are really unique. He hops out of the car walks into our makeshift studio where we’re already going at it, and drops that guitar line down and 20 minutes later the whole song was pretty much written. The lyrics start off as your standard boy-meets-girl song, but the story had a bit of a mind of its own and by the time the bridge comes around, it’s pretty clear our hero just isn't getting the message that the girl’s not vibing on him. You want him to move on but he doesn’t. And then we’ve run out verses to write his redemption in, so we have to leave him hanging with that tension. Maybe there needs to a Part 2 to this track where he comes good.
Sun 1 July – Steyne Hotel, Manly
Sat 14 July – Spring St Social, Bondi
Tue 17 July – Duo Smiggins Hotel, Smiggins
Wed 18 July – Smiggins Hotel, Smiggins
Sat 21 July – Jax Bar, Perisher Resort
Sat 21 July – Station Resort, Jindabyne
Sun 22 July – Blue Cow Deck, Perisher Resort
Sat 28 July – Federal, Toowoomba
Fri 10 August - 505, Sydney
Sun 26 August – Liverpool Street FESTIVAL
Sun 26 August -Steyne Hotel, Manly
Fri 14 September – Nimbin Roots FESTIVAL
Sat 15 September – Royal Mail Hotel, Goodna
Sun 16 September – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour
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