Today HONNE return with their first new song since 2018—a heartwarming electro-pop cut inspired by singer / producer Andy Clutterbuck’s relationship with his partner.
“‘No Song Without You’ is simply a story of love and friendship,” Clutterbuck tells American Songwriter over email. “I have been with my partner for 12 years and ‘No Song Without You’ takes you through a few moments where I’ve been able to rely on her for help or where she has stepped up for me without me even asking. I’m very lucky to have a friendship like that.”
The London synth-pop duo—rounded out by producer James Hatcher—teamed up with illustrator Holly Warburton to craft a charming animation for the track.
“We’re so proud of this video,” says Clutterbuck of the visual, which shows a lovable green monster finding connection over a magical night. “It’s our best video/song combination to date. It’s a very heartwarming watch and hard to think you could feel so connected to a green slime monster. Our first ideas for the video were based around the idea of an ‘imaginary friend’ but [in] working with the talented animator Holly Warburton, the concept gradually developed and that’s when these wonderful charming characters came to life.”
Though HONNE haven’t released anything since 2018’s Love Me/Love Me Not, they’ve gone through several periods of writing since then.
“We’d been writing on and off ever since we released Love Me/Love Me Not,” explains Clutterbuck. “We hadn’t really addressed it but I think both of us had underlying reservations about the music, which forced us to take a brave step and we decided to scrap the whole lot. We’ve abandoned songs in the past but [abandoning] whole albums of material was a scary prospect.”
Earlier this year the duo finally started down a more promising path: “In February/March of 2020 we found some kind of new mojo and wrote this whole new mixtape from scratch,” says Clutterbuck. “It felt refreshing to breathe some new life into our music. As for themes, it still remains true to HONNE in that it looks to the positive aspects of life and love.”
HONNE haven’t officially announced another EP or album, but Clutterbuck says their new songs reflect the duo’s musical evolution.
“[It’s] definitely a step in a different direction for us. This new music in places is softly psychedelic and in many ways throughout is more traditional in terms of its songwriting. We wrote more of it together in the same room which is unusual for us and we spent more time writing the song first followed by the production afterwards which again is a different process for us entirely.”
Beyond working on new music, Clutterbuck and Hatcher have spent the last few months slowing down and connecting with loved ones.
“2020 has been a bit of a mad ride so far hasn’t it? It’s been a very eye-opening time and we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves — to just appreciate the things in life that we sometimes take for granted like speaking to family and friends or being able to cook a meal,” says Clutterbuck.
“It feels like a time for personal growth and change for everyone, and we hope that we can all come out the other side as more rounded, compassionate and supportive people. And with music, we just feel very lucky that we can still continue to release music and hopefully offer people a little bit of escapism in these difficult times.”Listen to “No Song Without You” and check out the video below.