Review: HONNE feat. Kill J – ‘FHKD’

Very Listenable

While it's not a radical departure from the original, this rerelease, now with added Kill J, is more than welcome.

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Closer ‘FHKD’ was one of the most appealing tracks on Warm On A Cold Night, the July debut from London-based electro-soul duo HONNE, and the addition of Kill J for its single release does little to change that. The track reflects the LP’s themes, with vocalist Andy Clutterbuck encouraging freedom of expression over understated synth melodies and neat percussion. Its title refers to the repeated mantra (“Don’t fight it / Don’t hide it / Don’t kill it / Don’t deny it”) which enhances the mood of self-doubt pervading the record. On the surface, though, ‘FHKD’ was still a wholly optimistic entry, but one that would probably be overlooked by most listeners.

The choice of Danish experimental pop artist Kill J, real name Julie Aagaard, to feature on this rerelease is perfect: her haunting vocals are deceptively upbeat while painting a much more cynical picture lyrically. Aagaard doesn’t replace Clutterbuck, with portions of the original preserved, and the tone of her additions marries incredibly well with the existing track. “You can buy my love,” her message, is reiterated over minor restructuring, contrasting effectively with Warm On A Cold Night whilst simultaneously reinforcing the state of mind in which Clutterbuck and bandmate James Hatcher created their initial offering. With lines such as “You like me now, but later you’ve moved” meeting HONNE’s “Just give it time and some kind of chance to grow,” this is a collaboration at least as strong as April’s pre-album release ‘Someone That Loves You’ with Izzy Bizu. The production is as wholesome and lush as anything on the main album, and while it’s hard to say this is an improvement over what was already a strong record, it’s certainly no weaker.

‘FHKD’ is out now via Tatemae Recordings and Atlantic Records


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