Having played trumpet in a band whose membership ranged from around fifteen to twenty, “the more the merrier” approach didn’t really translate to exceptional songwriting. Thankfully that’s not the case for Austin nine-piece Honey Made. The first leg of Honey Made’s career was spent in the “party band” realm, wowing crowds more with enduring arrangements and a rapid-fire series of high-energy solos. But since they’ve internalized some of the lessons imparted on them by producer Steve Berlin (who helped shape Honey Made’s 2020 debut full-length Brand New), Honey Made’s managed to unstick themselves from the “jam band” mindset and embrace a previously-untapped but intrinsic excellence.
Now Honey Made strives to refine their funk and soul so much that it’s sweetness gets stuck in your ears for years, instead of just oozing offstage the minute the gig’s over. Honey Made played last Friday at Radio Coffee & Beer and just today released a stinger of a funk-soul single. Between Honey Made’s signature horn stabs, cool choral harmonies, and vocals that give the late Charles Bradley a run for his money, “Upstairs” proves just how little musical real estate Honey Made needs to create a playful, catchy retro-modern masterpiece.