Hum, One Hit Wonder, Worth a Second Look

Larz Ostrander, Staff writer

Hum is a band that most would call a “one hit wonder.” They only had a short span of
time where their hit song Stars was getting a good amount of radio play and MTV coverage in
the mid 90s. However, after that song lost its steam, the band mostly faded into obscurity except
for their small, dedicated fanbase. In recent years, many people have revisited Hum to discover
that they deserve much more media attention. I have recently been listening to their album
You’d Prefer an Astronaut on repeat for the past few weeks.
You’d Prefer an Astronaut has Hum’s big hit Stars, but almost every track on here had as
much potential to blow up like that track did, which makes me wonder why songs like Suicide
Machine didn’t gain more traction.
This album, along with all other Hum projects, has a very unique and recognizable
sound. Hard hitting drums, screeching guitars, and melodramatic lyrics about space and girls
are all elements in what makes this album so recognizable to those that know it. Matt Talbot’s
vocals are delivered in a sort of monotone mumble. This makes the music feel dreary and
dramatic at their slow parts, and harder hitting at the heavy parts where he raises his voice.
Some stand out songs to me are I’d Like your Hair Long and I Hate it Too. My personal
favorite I’d Like your Hair Long, This song is on the more energetic side for this album, with a lot
of use of sliding octave chords. It’s about moving on from someone, and asking yourself why
that person even made you feel the way you did, with lyrics like “You’re a waste of a song,
you’re a waste of my lungs.” I Hate it Too shows the band’s ability to have drops that will make
your heart skip a beat. “She don’t hold me right, she’ll never get me there,” these lyrics speak
about being a relationship with someone that you know isn’t the one, and dragging it out
because you’ve either gotten used to being with them to point where it is scary to leave, or just
because you don’t want to be alone.
Finally, this album is a 9/10. Hum established a very unique sound with this album, and
produced the only money making track on this album. However, I think that this album deserves
much more credit than it is given. It’s hard enough to develop a unique, recognizable sound, and
even harder to make it good.