With their debut full-length coming soon, Songwriting meets a UK synthpop duo whose lyrics go a little deeper than most
Names: Jason Mince (AKA Misterminchie) and Jamie Jamal
Age: 40 and 40
Location: Bristol, UK
Style: “Synthpop and electro with, hopefully, a bit of heart and intelligence”
Look out for: The Rise EP, out now, and their album, due on Teknofonic later this year
This Human Condition are a synthpop outfit with a difference. When they performed at a recent Songwriting/Bristol Pride event, we were struck not so much by their music per se – which owes a clear debt to the likes of Erasure and Pet Shop Boys, though the chaps themselves cite John Grant and FKA Twigs as their biggest influences – as by the complete package. With wigs, costumes and mime, their shows have a strong performance art aspect; more importantly, their songs actually mean something. When was the last time you heard an electro track about over-population, inspired by a TED talk?
“Lyrics are important to us,” says Jamie. “We’re a synthesizer band but we don’t just want to stand on stage shouting ‘Robot! Robot!’. That’s easy to do but it’s not very inspiring to us. We want to raise questions in our music.”
“After all, we’re not teenagers any more,” agrees Jason. “We’re grown-ups, and the things that inspire us to write are the things we see around us as grown-ups.”
But it’s not really surprising that songwriting is important to these two: they met, after all, at Bristol Songwriting Circle, which Jason’s been running since 2008. Jason started helping out with a few of Jamie’s songs, which led to them performing together, “and then people seemed to think our voices worked well together, so we figured it made sense to team up, and we became This Human Condition in January,” says Jason.
It’s a young partnership, then, but it seems to be working, with their self-released Rise EP now picked up by New York’s Teknofonic label. “That was just me hounding lots of people… and getting lots of rejections!” laughs Jason. “And then I started speaking on Twitter to a guy who was setting up a new electronic label called Teknofonic, and so now the EP’s on iTunes and the album will be coming out later this year.”
So what can we expect from the album? “Well, it’s mostly similar stuff to the EP,” says Jason. “But there’s a track called There’s A Line which is a bit more drum-based, and another called Recognition which is a bit more soulful, a bit more Motown-y… but with a dubstep influence as well. We just like to experiment and see what works, really.”
To find out more about This Human Condition, visit their website. You can see the video to Rise below.