Humble Digs was initially a duo act recording project nested in western Massachusetts. As time went, the duo turned into a proper band and brought along a lot of guests for the ride. I had the pleasure of taking on their latest album A Portrait Of Grace to review and I have been utterly wooed. The group produces a unique indie sound that is both jazzy and a little psychedelic. The core of this album is an unworldly coolness that hit all the right notes for me.
There are a lot of musical elements to unpack in the music in this album. You've got your vocalists and guitars, and fantastic drums, but there's the spectacular piano, oh, and the wonderful additive of brass as well. The album sways through an unpredictable pattern of bare bones guitar moments and then builds into fantastical crescendos with countless instruments and what feels like a parade of emotions. The pacing of the album seems to mirror human existence so perfectly with its erratic nature.
At the core of the album's narrative is Grace, she could be a literal being but for me personally, she came off as very metaphysical. The album narrates the perspectives of nine different men who have apparently all been in love with Grace, hence the nine tracks on the album. I'd shudder to think what an album of all my exes would sound like, but luckily for Grace, she seems to have a left a colorful and interesting impression. This album was written after the suffering of an anxiety attack in public. This hit a big personal note for me. As someone with a panic disorder, I understand completely the shock of your own brain betraying you and the burst of creative energy that often follows. "Portrait" digs deep into this experience. The strong, creative narrative is one of the biggest selling points of this album for me and I feel that it kept things focused while presenting an ocean of ideas.
The assemblage of this album has become a typical story for indie artists nowadays. The recording process took place at a home in Massachusetts using Logic and a menagerie of mics and any other tools at their disposal. I definitely get a cozy and familiar home vibe in their work that worked to their advantage.The mixing was handled by Ghost Hit Recording, and they had a hell of job in front of them considering all these instrumental elements. Mastering was done at Sun Room Audio in New York and I can tell the album was in good hands here because the album sounded so complete and polished without taking away from the music's unique charms.
I could see Humble Digs being the kind of group that creates a cult following among certain circles of friends. The music is not quite mainstream, but it's in that sweet spot of almost there which could give this group the potential to spread like wildfire across today's digital market. I want to congratulate Humble Digs on this album which I think is worthy of all the praise it receives.
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