Possible Humans

Everybody Split

Contact Jacob Daneman about Possible Humans

Formed in 2012 as a loose amalgamation of some solo projects, Possible Humans existed mostly by way of reckless and ambitionless improv jams in the city’s most notorious third-rate rehearsal space (now defunct). The group was initially four – Leon Cranswick and Hewitt brothers Steve, Mark and Adam– but soon Adam’s longtime partner in crime Samuel Tapperstarted showing up to fan the flames.


Demos of actual songs soon circulated, with all members contributing. The earliest recorded result was a 7″ made on 8 track reel-to-reel and cassette at the old Kensington Wool Sheds and released by Sydney pal Sam Wilkinson on his Strange Pursuits label. “Cuz” and its flip “Toroid” were written by Mark and Steve respectively, though lines of authorship in the group were blurring.


The improvised tape Ringwood/Ozone followed, released as spontaneously as it was played. Of all its preposterous details the most ironic is that Steve, the band’s ‘spiritual leader’ and original creative force, did not play on it. Did not even turn up that night. Which was an interesting twist to the band’s new Stooges-like communism. No one, least of all PH members, can tell who was playing what on it. Instrument-swapping was rife in the early days. These days, however, usually find Mark on drums, Sam and Steve doing most of the singing, and Adam and Leon doing everything else. Influences have probably always included Guided By Voices, Neil Young and Wire.


A lot of the songs on Everybody Split were first recorded – or demoed, in hindsight – at Sound Recordings, Alex Bennett’s splendid all-analogue studio in Castlemaine. But the songs needed more time, and the tunes hit their stride some years later alongside new ones with Alex Macfarlane (Twerps, The Stevens) at the helm, whose DIY approach to recording did the trick. Macfarlane, a longtime fan of the band, released this debut LP on his own Hobbies Galore imprint and the limited 200-pressing run sold out in a day.


During the album’s short time of availability, it caught the ear of Pitchfork, who, despite the album not being widely available yet, chose to bestow it with a praise-filled review.  Comparisons to bands like The Clean or fellow Melburnians Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are apt, but, as with most RIYL suggestions, limiting. Like Rolling Blackouts C.F., the frequently carefree and propulsive music is replete with deeply philosophical and sharp-witted lyrics. The lyrical content touches (among other things) paranoia, the comedies of insect social media use, freedom and other existential complications, sympathetic galloping, and leaving the amusement park after “too many goes on the gravitron.” As far as lead single “Aspiring To Be a Bloke,” Steve Hewitt describes it as “the whimpering man in the strong dog and vice versa… sarcasm and paradox at the roots of depression.”