Boomkat Product Review:
It is 1971. South Africa is struggling with a myriad of political and cultural problems. Mandela is in jail and the United Nations has declared it supports isolating South Africa for its apartheid policies. This is the setting in which a band with the unusual name of Humphrey is born.
"The album was recorded over 2 weeks, and upon its release is met with rave reviews and nominated for a SARI award. It may have been the political and social climate of the time, it may have been that the South African music scene suffered due to its isolation, it may have been that the surprise elements that came together to make Humphrey so unique had just enough power to sustain one beautiful album, but whatever it was, Humphrey seemed to fade into obscurity not long after the album came out.
Although the Anglo-American folk, pop, rock, and psych influences on Humphrey are undeniable, something about these influences finding a voice at such a particular time and in such a particular place makes this album truly unique. The record seems almost polarised in nature, the saccharine melodies of the harmonized vocals and the band’s pop sensibilities are kept from becoming throwaway bubblegum tunes by the songs unexpected psych elements, chord changes, and arrangements that bring a touch of darkness and mysticism — like a dangerous current running beneath the waters of a gently flowing stream."