I Wanna Be Sedated

music huhIndie duo Uh Huh Her returns to their EDM roots on latest album

For Cam Grey—one half of the indie duo Uh Huh Her—making the band’s new album, Future Souls, felt like a return to their roots.

“It was like going home,” Grey says. “We had previously done Nocturnes and an acoustic EP, so we’d kind of gone into this weird world that I’m not really used to—acoustic and/or rock. I wanted to get back to our electronic roots. EDM is taking over, and that’s where we started, so I wanted to make a fun, sedated dance record.”

Compared to other dance records, Future is definitely on the chilled-out side of things. “It’s Chemical” has a down-tempo sensibility with sensual, jazzy keys, and tracks like “Time” and “Shiiine” are laid-back electro-pop. There is a feeling throughout Future that Grey and bandmate Leisha Hailey are comfortable and having a good time.

“We didn’t put too much pressure on the writing process—it was really fluid,” Grey says. “We built a studio in our house, so that allowed us to go at our own pace and not have any pressure to go to a big studio like we did in the past, where we were rushing to do a million different things because of a budget. It really freed things up for us.”

Creative freedom is important for the duo, so building that studio proved to be a crucial decision. Having once been part of a major label, they know all about the pitfalls that can come along with that, and how others can negatively influence the creative process. Going their own way and secluding themselves during recording was essential to making the album they wanted to make.

“When you’re signed or working with producers, you’re subject to being scrutinized by outside opinions, and more often than not that hurts people because they second-guess themselves,” says Grey. “I read The Artist’s Way, and it says you should always create your own space for yourself so everything can flow better, so that was our intention behind having our own little work space.”

But Future doesn’t simply flow, musically, by maintaining its subdued, dance-centric vibe throughout; while it does have a lighter, almost happy-sounding feel, the content is less than sunshiny. Future is less about having a good time and more about wondering what all of this means.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been plagued by an existential crisis,” she says. “I really wanted to get that out. This record is the perfect reflection of all those thoughts about the existence of human beings and all the little creatures on the earth and what does that mean? What the hell is going on? All those perplexing questions.”

Dealing with the reality of such heavy themes was not even the most difficult part of the album-making process for Grey.

“I’m a composer first—I’m such a producer in that way—and when I work with content it’s hard for me to say what I want to say,” she admits. But despite the difficulty she has voicing her thoughts, and the fact that she is engaged in such deep contemplation about weighty issues like the meaning of existence, Grey still knows how to laugh.

“It’s kind of hypocritical in a way, the more I think about it,” she laughs. “I’ll say life is futile in one breath and then it’s the most beautiful thing in another, so I’m just having a crisis!”

Uh Huh Her will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, June 20 at the Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15/advance, $18/door. For more information, call 423-1338.

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