HYMNS is a band based around Oli’s songwriting with Giorgio on bass and keys, Amy Chapman on drums and backing vocals and Filippo Ferazzoli on guitar. The name was conceived before the other guys got involved.

“I’m not religious so it has nothing to do with faith,” Oli assures Eat This Music on the band’s namesake. “The word hymn (to me) has always had unworldly connotations. People have often sung them to find strength and elevation. They’re powerful and often quite epic.

I guess I decided on the name HYMNS as a statement of intent, I wanted to make music that is equally epic and powerful but in the scope of rock n roll and without the religious connotations. — Oli from HYMNS

Questions in this “What We’ve Been Listening To” are answered by Oli, unless otherwise stated.

What artists and bands are on your must-listen to list lately and why?

Crows‘ – a raucous post-punk indie band that gets the adrenaline flowing!

Weyes Blood‘ – her voice is amazing and reminds me a bit of Karen Carpenter of Carpenters fame.

Ben Howard‘ his new album is exquisitely written and produced and very calming for these anxiety inducing times.

How has lockdown affected your listening?

I’ve started listening to more and more calming ambient and modern piano music like Brian Eno and Nils Frahm.

Which guilty pleasure songs are you reluctant to admit to listening to?

Giorgio – WAP by Cardi B. ‘Swipe my pussy like a credit card’ is my favourite line.

Oli – I’m not sure it’s a guilty pleasure but here goes anyway, ‘Nobody Does it better’, Carly Simon.

Which song of someone else’s (artist or band) would you have liked to feature on and why, whether individually or as a group?

Wow. That’s tough. A great question though! Gio and myself are both massive fans of Neil Young’s album ‘Harvest’. Those songs are immortal! In an ideal scenario we’d have liked to have been part of those sessions in 70’s California and Nashville, soaking up those country rock vibes. That’s a time and place in musical history that we’re both fascinated by. It holds a lot of mystique for us. So many great records come from that time and place! I also like to think I could have done a good job of singing baritone backing vocals on Radiohead’s Exit Music (For A Film) instead of the mellotron choir samples.

Which song, or songs, of yours would you recommend to a first-time listener?

All the songs on our new EP of course. Long term I think they’ll be the most rewarding!

To listen to HYMNS new EP ‘Reset’ visit: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/hymns/reset-2

What keeps you making music?

I think the reasons differ depending on my state of mind and what’s going on in my life at the time. Sometimes it’s simply to better myself as a musician or improve on the last song written. Other times I’m so eager to express the essence of what I’m feeling at that precise moment that writing a lyric or even a guitar riff seems like the quickest and most instant form of creative expression. For me, the words normally come after the music, but if the words did come first I’d say poetry could be just as instantaneous.

There are also infinite possibilities even within the realm of guitar-based music. Different ways to play the instruments, different effects, different sounds, different arrangements. There’s so much to explore. Most of us really only just scratch the surface.

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