Living Aesthetic: Humans On Comfort In and Out of The Studio

The electro-pop duo strive for simplicity with their sound and their style.
August 24, 2016, 2:26pm

Humans are just as defined by their sharp street style as they are their astute electronic pop. The Vancouver-based duo of Peter Ricq and Robbie Slade chose to combine their two loves by supplementing their music with a range of wearable merchandise that further represents the Humans aesthetic. The items have also become a promotional tool for the band, making appearances in recent press shots as well as the video for their latest single, “Water Water.”

Over the past year, Ricq and Slade have been on a tear, releasing their debut album, Noontide, which earned them a Juno nomination for Electronic Album of the Year and a record deal with U.S. label Mom + Pop (Courtney Barnett, Neon Indian). Earlier this year they released the Water Water EP, a trio of minimally arranged compositions that fuse rippling synths, pulsating rhythms and subtle but effective melodies.

Nevertheless, as much as they rely on computers to feed their music and synthetics to make their clothing, this band is still all about the Humans condition.

Noisey: When it comes to art and clothing was does comfort mean to you?
Robbie Slade: I would say they’re kind of the opposite for me. It’s kind of a bad thing in art if you’re too comfortable. It means you probably doing something pretty boring. But with clothing I’d say it’s pretty crucial. I don’t really care about being uncomfortable for the sake of making a statement with clothing. But the art that I make I have to stay out of my comfort zone.
Peter Ricq: I agree with what Robbie said. You can’t grow as an artist if you’re always staying in your comfort zone. Although with clothing you want to feel comfortable because you have to move in it. If you’re not comfortable you can’t really sit down and relax, and do everything you’re supposed to do all day.

How do you express comfort in your style?
Ricq: As soon as you feel comfortable with what you’re wearing, it doesn’t matter what style you have, it could be a super large hat and really baggy pants, if it’s comfortable you feel like yourself.
Slade: If you’re comfortable, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wearing your favourite T-shirt on the couch. I think it means that if you’re comfortable you’re equipped to do whatever it is that you’re doing. I’ve had comfortable climbing shoes, but they’re not actually that comfortable. They’re just comfortable for climbing.

What is the relationship between your style and your music?
Slade: That’s a good question. I think for us they’re really, really obviously related. We dress very monochromatic when we’re together. The relationship between our style and our music is very clear.
Ricq: It’s always about being simple, good quality and comfortable.

Whose style do you admire?
Ricq: My friend Billy Danger and Cole Taylor, our friends in Vancouver. They’re kind of designer but also street without being polished. It looks comfortable too.
Slade: I’ve been watching old movies, like On The Waterfront. There is some pretty admirable style going on with Marlon Brando in that movie. I’m pretty intrigued by that look. Is comfort something you want to feel while you’re making music?
Ricq: Definitely. If you’re working on something for four or five hours you have to feel comfortable.

Cam Lindsay is a writer and human based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter.

This article has been made possible by Roots.