The Howl & The Hum’s “Same Mistake Twice” Is a Dynamic, Dramatic, & Deeply Sentimental Return

The Howl & The Hum "Same Mistake Twice" © 2024
The Howl & The Hum "Same Mistake Twice" © 2024
Yorkshire’s The Howl & The Hum triumphantly returns with the dramatic, urgent, and angsty “Same Mistake Twice,” an emotionally charged fever dream that sees Sam Griffiths running full speed ahead as a solo project.
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“Same Mistake Twice” – The Howl & The Hum

I never make the same mistake twice; I always aim for a third time,” sings a candid Sam Griffiths in The Howl & The Hum’s spirited new single. His voice is hot on the mic, his words intimate on the ears like it’s just us and him in a room, and we’re bearing witness to the singer/songwriter spilling his soul in song.

Same Mistake Twice - The Howl & The Hum
Same Mistake Twice – The Howl & The Hum

In many ways, that’s exactly what’s going on – because as triumphant as “Same Mistake Twice” feels, it’s also tinged with an unavoidable bittersweetness: This is The Howl & The Hum’s debut as a solo project, following 2020’s critically acclaimed debut album Human Contact and 2021’s concert album Live at York Minster. Founding members Bradley Blackwell, Jack Williams, and Conor Hirons parted ways with Griffiths (amicably, or so it seems), leaving him the sole member of the band they started together in the mid-2010s; and in proper torch-bearer fashion, Griffiths runs full speed ahead into the next phase of his project with his heart and soul plastered all over his sleeve, glancing backward and nodding as if to say, “If I could, I’d do it all over again.

Or as he’s more poetically put it in song, “If I had one more chance, I’d always make the same mistakes twice.

I never make the same mistake twice
I always aim for a third time
I climbed through your window
and tripped on the blinds
I guess I’m impaired in my foresight

“‘Same Mistake Twice’ is the first record with The Howl & The Hum as a solo project,” Griffiths tells Atwood Magazine. “It pays its dues to all the things we got right and wrong before, as a band, as friends and as collaborators, and celebrates the things that make us the most human: The what-ifs and the victories we carry around with us.”

“It concludes that, despite all our bulls*** and arguments, if we were given a second chance at life from the start, we’d always make the same mistakes twice.”

The Howl & The Hum © Stewart Baxter
The Howl & The Hum © Stewart Baxter

The lesson (if there is one to be) learned is, embrace the ride. Cherish the everyday.

Life isn’t about making the highs outweigh the lows, or analyzing what you could have done better for next time; it’s about soaking in the full experience and making the most of it. It’s about appreciating the people around you, being present and active in your own story, and leading with your heart. It’s a beautiful sentiment that Griffiths wouldn’t change a thing, and one that not very many people in his hypothetical scenario would necessarily share, but this is his moment, and these are his mistakes to make over and over again, for as long as he pleases.

I spent all my youth playing video games
That convinced me when we die we go round again
So all these mistakes all those voice notes to you
I’ll sidestep with grace when I’m here for round two
I never make the same mistake twice
If I do it’s an encore
The ghost of Thelonius Monk in my mind
Says there’s no such thing as a wrong chord

Released May 9 via Miserable Disco, “Same Mistake Twice” is the lead single off The Howl & The Hum’s forthcoming sophomore album of the same name (out September 6).

“This is an album about Dread,” Griffiths says of his full LP. “About a very real, everyday dread so many of us feel surrounded by screens showing us how we should be, what a good person is, what a bad person is. It’s about trying to have and handle and process big messy emotions in a world that wants things to be small, simple, and quickly decided. Every person is flawed, every person has baggage, shrapnel they take with them that makes the airport security beep. This album is about acknowledging that shrapnel, poking it, flipping it and seeing what lives under it, and learning to fall in love with the version of yourself full of holes and missing pieces.”

“This is a breakup album mourning the loss of a band, and all that comes with it: ego trips, insecurities, lost friendships, fading love, rekindling old fires and a path to acceptance.”

I’m always forgetting my friends’ occupations,
I swear that I’m listening, I’m just feeling jaded
You moved to London with everyone else
I stayed in Yorkshire avoiding success
There’s a man in the pub
says he used to be young
And he looked just like me,
did the things that I’ve done
But he left Michelle for a job in PR
And now he’s got hard drives of pictures of her

Dramatic and dynamic, urgent and angsty, “Same Mistake Twice” is an unapologetic emotionally charged fever dream: As The Howl & The Hum returns, he makes damn sure we know that he’s right where he belongs.

So yes, this is a triumph – a beautiful one, at that.

On the day I die
Some judgmental man in white
Says I’ve wasted all my life
But because he’s feeling kind
He will give me one more try
But we don’t see eye-to-eye
Cos if I had one more chance
I’d always make the same mistakes twice

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“Same Mistake Twice” – The Howl & The Hum

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? © Stewart Baxter

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