On Friday, June 1st, Human Resources released their long-awaited sophomore album Champagne. That same night they hosted an album release party at The Royal American, which was another long-awaited event for them. With Dries touring with SUSTO, Paul touring with The Artisanals, Aaron slapping the bass with Brave Baby (and now 2 Slices), and Matt running a full-time recording studio with Coast Records, it’s a rare occasion when HR has the time to play a gig or record new music.
Despite their sporadic schedules, Human Resources has shown us time and time again that their music and subsequent live performances are worth waiting for. Their album release party at The Royal American was at capacity before they even took the stage, and patrons were more than happy to wait in line for space to open up inside the bar for their performance. During their set, Royal was overtaken by a full-on drinking and dance party curated by some of Charleston’s most talented performers. Justin Osborne of SUSTO even hopped on stage to sing his verse in “Atlanta”.
At the center, of course, was Champagne, the 11-track synth-pop album that Human Resources recorded themselves at Coast Records studio. I’m always on here expressing my love for Charleston’s DIY music scene, and Human Resources is possibly the pinnacle of that. Everything about the band is completely homemade (other than the two songs recorded with Taylor Locke of Rooney), from the recordings to the logos and the album art. I like to refer to what Human Resources does as “Professional DIY”, because without knowing beforehand that they make everything themselves, you’d never be able to tell. It’s that good.
If my musical thoughts carry any weight at all then you’ll believe me when I say that Champagne is going to take this band far. Before the album was even released they landed an opening slot for Bleachers at a sold-out Georgia Theatre show. If that doesn’t point to a bright future, I don’t know what does. Anyone you talk to in Charleston has respect for the pure musicianship at the heart of Human Resources. Even if you can find somebody who doesn’t dig the particular style of music that HR plays, they’ll still agree that the band’s talent is undeniable.
Champagne is much more experimental in nature than their 2015 debut En Route, and shows what three full years of absorbing influence and growing up can do for a band. When En Route came out, HR had just rebranded from Donnie Dies, which was basically a jam band, and they were still trying to figure out what they wanted to sound like. Then came Pizza Dreams in 2016, which shows them starting to head in the exploratory synth-pop direction that they took with Champagne. Champagne shows that open-ended direction fully realized, and will serve as a launching pad for all of HR’s future endeavors.
Now we just have to sit around, listen to Champagne, and see what the future holds for Human Resources. Luckily for us, Champagne has a lot of replay value. If you want to learn more, check out our sit-down interview with Human Resources here. Listen to the album below, and add your favorites to some Spotify playlists.