Roundtable Talk: “Manea”

“Once we go, we won’t come back this way,
But Manea finds us anyway.
It’s such a beautiful day.
Ain’t it such a beautiful day?

Artist: The Howl & The Hum
Godmanchester Chinese Bridge EP

Song Meaning

I honestly don’t know. I assume it has to do with Manea, Cambridgeshire.

Seized by a Moment

I often throw songs on my yearly “best of…” playlists and forget about them immediately. This is why I have to do regular fat trimming to keep my eager ears in check.

One day, as I was laying down Simon Cowell judgments on my 2017 playlist, this song strode into my car with its Millennial hipness. So chill, so bold. You fool, I thought to myself. You let these wise-cracks smooth talk their way in here?

But all it took was a moment. The Howl & The Hum, this mystery band, hit that note after the 1:20 mark and that shut me up good. The build payoff was so unexpected, hearing any comparison to other popular alternative bands is an insult. I live for those music moments. Do you hear the grungy guitars? They reject comfort. Bring on the rain and lightning.

But you know what? The clouds had their turn. It’s over 50 degrees in early January. It isĀ such a beautiful daaaaaaaaay.

Random Notes

  • The Howl & The Hum do not have a huge catalog, but I have listened to all four songs in their entirety. The magic exists only within “Manea,” whereas the rest fall in with the indistinguishably mellow alternative bands from which I revoked comparison. A little more hum, a little less howl. That was a bummer of a discovery, but the H&H can write solid tunes and I will embrace what is to come.
  • Here’s a good interview of the band, of which there are few. They once performed a pitch-black sensory deprivation show, which sounds bold and unique. I would never forget that concert.
  • This song employs a semi-common music tactic, but one of which I cannot get enough: a weak tease in chorus No. 1 followed by a breakthrough in No. 2. Douse me in ice cold water, give my cheeks a good whack – I am awake.
  • The Howl and The Hum name was allegedly inspired by an Allen Ginsburg poem entitled, “Howl.” Because I am opinionated and enjoy non-sequiturs, I will tell you that I am not a fan of the Beat Generation. These entitled grumps make me feel bad for being a normal guy who exhibits traits such as duty and sympathy. Oh, go install a light fixture, you unproductive squares.

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