Hear Honey's "Dream Come Now" from Their Upcoming Record 'New Moody Judy'
The Brooklyn punk band announces their sophomore album out September 29 on Wharf Cat Records, and shares the kickass first single.
Photo by Alex Mctigue
"Lust and learning. That's really all there is, isn't it?"
For Dan Wise, the answer to this hypothetical question, originally posited in John Williams' 1965 novel Stoner, one of the man's favorite books as of late, is an unequivocal "yes," at least when it comes to his band Honey: a Brooklyn-based trio which owes their existence to the aforementioned oppositional forces. Slice open the band's tripartite brain—the collective minds of Wise, Cory Feierman, William Schmiechen—and you'll see two distinct lobes; one half's guided by the tripped-out carnality of 60s psych, manifested in heavy-lidded hooks and freewheeling solos, while the other belies a far more erudite (and distinctly New York) praxis, adopted out of necessity: carefully-plotted tours, rigid studio schedules, and playback sessions.
"I think as any kind of musician or artist, you're trying to do something different, to try to grow," Wise tells me over the phone. "Otherwise it's boring, you know? Boring for you, boring for everyone." To be fair, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who'd describe the trio's speaker-frying jams as "boring." Last year's debut Love Is Hard dug up some blood-spattered, floor-shaking common ground between the Kinks and Can: an unwieldy train of thought which inevitably runs off the rails during their dizzying live show. No need for intra-song banter here: Wise lets his guitar to do all the lustful talking, by way of blistering blues licks and waves of drone, a conversational style he picked as Psychic Ills' guitarist; Feierman and Schmiechen (formerly of Amen Dunes) buttress his wails with the best pummeling backbeats the Stooges never wrote.
Having spent the past five years honing their instrumental form of telepathy in basements and ramshackled venues around the country, Honey are finally ready to put all they've lusted after and learned from on the table with their sophomore album, New Moody Judy. Arriving September 29 via Wharf Cat, the nine-track LP marks the group's most sonically diverse effort to date (including Honey's first instrumental-only tracks), not to mention their most collectively-minded; Whereas Wise composed the majority of Love is Hard, New Moody Judy is a true group effort, beget from passionate jam seshes and a race against the clock.
"Going in, you're not exactly sure with what you're going to come up with, and you gotta give yourself a deadline," Wise explains. "We gave ourselves X amount of days to get it all done; I didn't want to be recording over six months or something." As for the album's thematic moodboard, Wise cites Stoner (Williams' fictional account of a downtrodden professor's idealistic and sexual awakening) as a major influence on the record, as well as Can's hypnotic early performances, which inform the record's predictions towards the motorik.
Today, we're offering the first taste of what to expect from New Moody Judy: the pugnacious "Dream Come Now," a barnstormer every bit as fiery as the album art. "It's about when you put yourself out there for something, and it doesn't work–but you have to keep yourself open to trying to make it happen," Wise says of the track. "Even though you're getting beat over the head and you don't want to do that to yourself anymore, but you still need to keep yourself open; Otherwise, you go to a dark place." Lust and learning. That's really all there is, isn't it?
Honey's New Moody Judy is out September 29 on Wharf Cat Records. Pre-order it here.
Zoe Camp is a writer based in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.