Humble Fire shares new single / video, “Builder” via NPR
DC band Humble Fire shares new single / video “Builder” today, listen to it now over at NPR.
Bob Boilen of NPR wrote this about “Builder”:
“Much of the magic of making art, whether it’s painting, poetry or music, is the discovery process. And that was true for Humble Fire, a D.C. band with a new album coming soon called Builder. Nefra Faltas, the band’s singer and keyboardist, wrote to tell me that it was after finishing the album and this title track that she began to understand all the songs as a larger piece about family and relationships. “I didn’t set out to write lyrics and melody to tell that story. And I’m generally not comfortable expressing anger. But standing at the other end of the writing process, I think the song gave me a way to work through being angry with myself for devoting myself to someone so fully during a time when I had such limited resources to give. The song’s title, ‘Builder’, speaks to that acknowledgement, and to finding the resolve to walk away and rebuild.” (read the full text here)
Humble Fire’s second album Builder (out July 28) explores physical and emotional experiences around loss and reconstruction, from family deaths and failed romances to the shocks and stresses they have navigated as a band. Through those experiences, they’ve come to appreciate that reconstruction isn’t something you can tackle on your own: it requires an entire crew. Builder, then, is as much about that process of putting yourself back together, as it is about the relationships that can help or hinder that process. Since Humble Fire’s members have known each other over the past five or so years, they’ve all shown up for each other in different ways as part of that reconstruction crew. They’re lucky to have found family in each other in that way.
Somewhat accidentally, the album also ended up being about working out questions of identity. ‘Who am I now, in this world without my parents in it’, for example? ‘How can I take care of others without losing myself?’ When the band first listened back to the fully assembled album, they realized it had become a sort of therapy in working out some of those questions. More broadly, Humble Fire’s collective identity is also something they try to be very intentional about. As a DC-based band, they’re immersed in and identify with the tradition of DIY independence and social awareness typically associated with the politics of hardcore punk (despite not working in the genre). They strive to embody those values as a band as much as in their personal lives.
Humble Fire owes its origins to Craigslist, which first brought guitarist Dave and singer Nefra together through another project and later recruited Xaq, bassist, who responded to Dave’s ad with a purposeful manifesto that will forever go down in band history. While not the band’s original drummer, Jason had long been a friend and active musician in the DC DIY music circuit before signing on in 2016. In its current form, the band celebrates the diverse musical influences that each member draws from–from bluegrass and classical, to punk and hip hop–weaving addictive rhythms and vulnerable vocals through tightly wound guitar and bass melodies.
Photo by Jonathan Williams
6/30-7/1 – Mt. Rainier, MD / 20 Rue Jacob
7/1 – Falls Church, VA / HERA Music Festival
7/6 – Washington, DC / Builder Single Release Show
7/14 – Durham, NC / Arcana
7/15 – Knoxville, TN / Preservation Pub w/Grandpa’s Stash
8/11 – Washington, DC / Rock & Roll Hotel (Album Release Show) w/NUEX, Near Northeast, and Frenemies
8/12 – NYC (venue TBD)
2. Fine Line
6. Blood Is Red
7. Good Intentions