By Kirsten Coachman
Following last year’s Honestly, Honesty EP, Hand Made House is soaring into spring with the release of their new single, “Like the Weather.”
With their new single, the L.A.-based band comprised of Tucker Click (lead vocals), Josh Nardine (drums), Maison Thomas-Eudy (guitar/vocals), and Amin Mortada (guitar/vocals) continues to build on their foundation of pop and alternative rock with elements of hip hop. Lyrically, the track cuts deep as Click sings of a complicated relationship that’s taken an emotional toll over melodic beats. Confidently executed from start to spirited finish and catchy to boot, don’t be surprised to find yourself singing along to “Like the Weather” by the song’s final chorus.
Hand Made House was founded in 2016 while the bandmates were attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2018, they released their first EP, How it Ends and Where I’m Going, which featured the single “Through You.” The song made noise across various streaming platforms, where it received over 400,000 streams. The band released several singles throughout 2019 and 2020, including the ever-popular “In Bloom,” “City Girls,” and “That’s Not Love,” prior to releasing their Honestly, Honesty EP last fall.
Earlier this week, Click graciously took the time to chat with me over the phone about Hand Made House’s tremendous new single, how the band’s creative process changed during the ongoing pandemic, and his hope for the future of live shows.
Hand Made House released a handful of singles as well as an EP last year, and this Friday, you’re releasing the band’s newest single, “Like the Weather.” What was it like for you to create in 2020? Did the band’s creative process change at all under the circumstances we’re living through?
Yeah, I think it definitely did change. Before 2020, we were doing a lot of demoing just within the band, and we would demo our own songs, and then we would go to a producer and have them done. And I think 2020 really gave us that push to do our own production inside the band because our drummer, Josh, studied production in college, and we knew, eventually, he would get to the point where he becomes our producer. It was just really about making that switch over, and as unfortunate as 2020 was, I think that was the push that he needed to take over.
“Like the Weather” really embraces the best of both pop and rock worlds. It’s also a bit of a departure from your most recent EP. Was the band looking to change things up sonically, or was it something that happened organically in the process of writing?
Yeah, I think it happened organically. Funny enough, like every time we write a song, it tends to be a completely different genre from what we’re typically used to. Even with Honestly, Honesty, the EP we released last year, there were times where we were writing songs, and I think we probably wrote around like 10 songs or so that didn’t even make it onto the because we had to narrow them down and be like, “Okay, this is our sound for this EP.” If we’re doing a project in a package, we should definitely make it sound like something. Whereas now, we’ve gotten to the point where every time we write a song and think it’s good and believe in it, we just release it–whether it is what our sound used to be or what we thought it would be.
Were there specific influences in the creation of this song?
In terms of artists, people have been releasing rock-based elements, so you had Machine Gun Kelly bringing back like pop-punk, and you have Halsey, who’s featuring on Bring Me the Horizon songs and stuff like that. And then you also have TikTok that is bringing back these aggressive vocals. Since we had done that in 2018, I was like, I love doing that. That is my style. So I think we just brought back what we didn’t have in 2020. So we just wanted more aggressive vocals, more rock elements, have it hit just a little bit harder, and have more aggressive lyrics.
Is “Like the Weather” a song that’s potentially leading off a whole project or a stand-alone single?
I think, at first, it has to stand on its own. We’ve talked about doing a project with this song and having it lead up to something bigger. But, I think we’re at this point where we want to keep releasing singles and keep experimenting and putting out songs that people wouldn’t normally expect from us, but still having our sound on them.
When it comes time to working on new music–does it start with a band member presenting an idea, or do you usually work collectively on each track?
It’s definitely different for every song, but generally, how it’s been recently happening is either my drummer, Josh, or Amin, one of our guitarists, presents a demo of an instrumental track to our group chat and is like, “Give me feedback. What do you guys think about this?” And then, if we like it, we usually take it and run from there. Then, either I or Maison or Josh, or Amin will add to it and make it more of a collective sound, and then I’ll write lyrics and melody and record vocals over it.
Are there any plans for a music video for “Like the Weather”?
We haven’t talked about it in-depth; we’re actually finishing up a different video project currently that’s going to be coming out later this summer. So we’re kind of invested in that right now, but we definitely want to do some more music videos now that it’s getting safer to have crews and all of that.
From watching your previous videos, it seems like you guys have a lot of fun coming up with concepts.
Oh yeah. I think [music videos are] so fun. And we really want to do another story-based music video at some point, but we want to have the story and the video just be so good. And it takes a lot of planning, and we also want it to be safe for everyone, especially with like COVID and all of that being a thing right now, we want to make sure crew and everyone involved can be safe.
Can you talk a little bit about the video project you guys are working on?
Yeah, we posted something on our Instagram two or three weeks ago. We’re doing a live set, essentially like those videos that you’ve seen of people playing fully produced shows. I think Dua Lipa did one where she produced a full live set and then put it out for like $5 or something like that. Instead of doing a paid show, we just asked for donations from people to make it happen. And [donors] would be credited for helping us put something like this together in the video. And we want to release it later this summer.
I listened to a bit of the band’s Hand Made Hangouts podcast–I think it’s pretty refreshing to hear a band just literally hang out together and talk about what’s going on in their day-to-day–is that something you’re hoping to continue this year?
[We’re] definitely going to continue it. We had to take a break because we had to quarantine for a bit, but it’s something we want to continue. It’s really fun to just hang out and have drinks and just talk. I think a lot of people, when they think of artists, especially larger artists, not even necessarily smaller artists, they tend to idolize them or put them on a pedestal. But when you see a podcast of them just like sitting there talking about day-to-day life and how much their day job sucks, it humanizes them. So, I think that’s why we wanted to do it and want to continue to do it. So in the case that we keep growing, we never want people to be like, “Oh, I can’t sit down and have a drink with them–they’re them.” We want everyone to feel invited.
Your band is big on creating a connection with your fans as well as with your fellow bandmates. Live shows are a huge part of creating that connection–any thoughts or hopes of what that looks like in the future?
In terms of live shows, I’m hoping that we’re able to figure out a way to have live shows be a thing–whether it’s changing capacity limits or even having them outdoors. Just having them be a possibility [to have] in person I think is important. As much as I love how much technology has been able to help us have an online presence with Zoom shows and Instagram Lives, it’s not even comparable to a live show, unfortunately. I think the energy in a room or space or outdoors at a live show is going to be different than looking through a phone or watching through a TV. I hope that we’re able to do that again. And if not, I hope there’s a way that we can fully do live concerts through social media that has more of a connection–like, there’s a way that we’re able to interact more with fans. I’m not sure what that looks like yet, but I hope they figure something out if live shows [can’t resume this year].
Wrapping things up, what do you hope fans and new listeners take away from “Like the Weather”?
Well, I hope that anyone who listens can kind of find something in there for them. I think it has enough reach between like pop and rock and hip hop, even with like the 808s that we’ve introduced. And there’s even trap hi-hats in there that everyone can find something for them. I think, lyrically, it has like that kind of sing-along-in-the-car energy. And so hopefully, they can take that away or I think there will be some people who can at least connect to the lyrics once they listen and are able to sing along.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Featured photo credit: Sarah Midkiff