Honeyroot – The Sun Will Come

A decade ago this week saw the release of the second of two Honeyroot albums, The Sun Will Come. Founded by Heaven 17‘s Glenn Gregory in the twilight of their career, the Honeyroot project saw him and Keith Lowndes working together on beautiful, relaxed pop music. The less accomplished Sound Echo Location had kickstarted the project in 2003, and with The Sun WIll Come, they truly managed to create something magnificent.

Confusingly, it opens with the triumphant instrumental Goodbye, before introducing the first of several fantastic guest vocalists for the quite brilliant Nobody Loves You (The Way I Do), a minor single release that appeared the same year as the album. With its enormous pads, chilled piano, and warping bass, as well as a very familiar lyrical message, it may be fair to say that nothing here is entirely new, but it is delivered in a quite exceptional manner.

The adorable instrumental Heavy Drops comes next, also the other side of the double a-side with the preceding track. There’s a gentle, soft arpeggio running through most of the track, with a soft melody line, that sounds absolutely fantastic. The vocal samples I’m less sure about, but it would be hard to spoil anything this good.

I got to know this album on a five-day train journey across Canada in 2008, and one of the most evocative tracks is the adorable single Where I Belong, almost an electro-country track with its slide guitar and melancholic vocal. Imagine the rhythmic chugging percolated by the occasional train horn as the miles go past, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of why this song means so much to me.

As with the version of Love Will Tear Us Apart on the first album, the cover of A Change is Gonna Come here is very brave. It’s a song with a lot of meaning for a lot of people, and it would be very easy to dilute or disrespect that, but I think this pulls it off, as a soft and beautiful piano piece.

Drifter is a sweet gospel-piano pop song, and then People Say is a glorious, simple pop track. By the middle of this album, its form is holding up well, although Every Single Day is probably the one moment on here that I think doesn’t stand up quite as well as the rest.

Then comes Waves, a beautiful pop song, with more rippling pads and acoustic-inspired sounds, as well as an enormous grumbly bass sound. Freeway is another great instrumental.

But the best has definitely been saved till the end – my favourite track on here is the adorable, lullaby-like The Stars, full of cascading arpeggios and huge reverb. If there’s a better album closing track then I would very much like to know what it is. Indeed, The Sun WIll Come surely must be one of the best albums of its era. If only anybody had heard it – their only foray into the charts was a minor scrape at the bottom end of the singles with Love Will Tear Us Apart.

Unfortunately the Honeyroot project was not destined to last much longer. A one-off single It’s All Good followed in 2008, and then Heaven 17 started doing stuff again, and its time was through. Which is a very great shame – I do like Heaven 17 a lot, but I’m not convinced they ever created anything quite as beautiful as The Sun Will Come.

You can still find The Sun Will Come at their own Bandcamp page for just a fiver.

Beginner’s guide to Honeyroot

For a couple of years, from 2005 to 2008, it looked as though Honeyroot might be one of the most interesting electronic acts around. But Glenn Gregory, who made up half of the duo, had better things to do, as Heaven 17‘s career was suddenly resurrected.

Key moments

Probably the minor melancholic hit they achieved with their cover version of Love Will Tear Us Apart, before they went back to doing whatever else it was they did…

Where to start

Kick off with the second album The Sun Will Come (2007) – every track is fantastic.

What to buy

That leaves you with just one album, the 2005 debut Sound Echo Location. You could follow that with EP1, which offers a couple of extra remixes.

Don’t bother with

The mashup We Don’t Need This Fascist State of Mind, which is both intriguing and misguided.

Hidden treasure

The one-off single It’s All Good (2008), presumably from the never-to-appear third album, which offers a brilliant uptempo variation on their sound.

For stowaways

  • No posts yet

Chart for stowaways – 5 July 2014

Here are this week’s top 10 albums:

  1. William Orbit – Strange Cargo 5
  2. Röyksopp & Robyn – Do It Again
  3. William Orbit – Orbit Symphonic
  4. DARKSIDE – Psychic
  5. Jean Michel Jarre – Sessions 2000
  6. Apparat – The Devil’s Walk
  7. Erlend Øye – Unrest
  8. Honeyroot – The Sun Will Come
  9. I Monster / People Soup – I Monster Presents People Soup
  10. Deep Forest – Deep Forest

More about this blog

I think you’ll get the hang of this very quickly.

My name is Rollo, I’m old enough to remember the 1980s, and I mainly like pop and electronic music, but also a bit of world and a lot of chillout, and all sorts of things in between. But I mainly listen to electronic music, and so that’s mainly what we’ll be writing about here.

You’ll get a good idea of my favourite bands as we go along, but loosely I grew up listening to lots of Pet Shop Boys and Erasure, then I discovered Sparks and Depeche Mode, and for a long time my favourite band were The Beloved. Then I stumbled across Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk, and in more recent years became extraordinarily keen on Röyksopp, Goldfrapp and William Orbit.

I come from Sheffield originally, so inevitably I have a lot of fondness for The Human League and Heaven 17, but not ABC so much. I love I Monster and Kings Have Long Arms to pieces. I’m a Geographer by trade, and I’m always fascinated by things which fuse music from different locations such as Gotan Project, Manu ChaoDeep ForestErlend Øye and Delerium.

I’m a Europhile, and so I adore French music such as AirTélépopmusikReadymade and Sébastien Tellier, and German music such as Camouflage and Wolfsheim. My favourite country in the world is Slovenia, so I’m particularly fascinated by Laibach. I’m a proud Brit, so I love Madness and The Specials.

I love pop music, and I think Sarah Nixey has the finest voice in the world, while Saint Etienne are probably the best songwriters. I like listening to unusual laid back music such as The Future Sound of London and The Orb. I like things with a darker edge, so I love Front Line Assembly and the Soulsavers album was wonderful.

My favourite discoveries of recent years have probably been MarsheauxHoneyroot and Skywatchers.

Funny how your taste in music is so fundamentally shaped by your personality, isn’t it?