Watch the beautiful video for 'The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island' below
With “The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island”, The Howl & The Hum take a wide-eyed perspective, launching themselves into the epic grandeur of the song. It’s a startling track with frontman Sam Griffiths leading the outrageous crescendo at the end of the near four-minute song. It’s a song that should see the band take their next big step.
“There is such a strong narrative arch and emotional journey in the song, and I felt like I wanted to honour that in the film. It recalled to me so many images of the failed masculinity of the men in my childhood. The song spoke of this unfulfilled sadness - this petrol headed masculine energy that is so fatally flawed. It seemed to me to be a perfect match to disused industrial towns, a landscape of forgotten Aussie battlers, full of life, and ingenuity, and passion - but also living a life draped in a struggle of generationally repeated sins, structural unassailable unemployment, under education and outmoded conceptions of masculinity. It is the story of the working class and was my father’s upbringing.”
Frontman Sam Griffiths on the track:
“This song was inspired while we were on the Orkney islands, when we saw one boy racer driving round and round the same roads overtaking our shitty little van, yet there was no-one else he was racing. I had loneliness on the brain, so this song came together as an anthem of lost youth, while not looking on this young view of masculinity particularly lightly. Musically it borrows from northern and Scottish folk music, Arcade Fire (after hearing them call 'Wake Up' a Scottish war chant) and Richard Dawson.
This is a song about that guy with the monster-like revving engine roaring past you on the high street when you were younger, seeing him as trying to impress the girls, the guys, himself, and what happens to these young men as the years turn over: people leave, the town changes, but they refuse to grow up.”
“The Only By Racer Left On the Island” shows the grand possibilities that are out there for this incredibly humble yet ambitious four-piece from York, who still record in their space outside the city in the countryside, working alongside Jolyon Thomas (Slaves, Kendrick Lamar) to create their mini epics of day-to-day life that strike a chord with a deep cross section of fans, as seen across the UK this autumn on their biggest tour so far, culminating in a sold-out show at London’s Scala.
The band have now accumulated over 10 million streams on Spotify alone. They’ve received strong support from Annie Mac and Huw Stephens on their BBC Radio 1 shows, on BBC 6 Music from Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson, and with press supporters including The Line Of Best Fit, DIY, Wonderland, Music Week, Dork, Clash and more. They have also performed at SXSW and The Great Escape, and now the signs are there for The Howl & Hum to have a breakthrough year in 2020.