Local Music

Watch Humbert’s "You Said" Video — So Beautiful, It'll Make You Weep

Humbert performed live for the first time since the pandemic at Bar Nancy to premiere its Record Store Day single.
Photo by Charles Lillo
Humbert performed live for the first time since the pandemic at Bar Nancy to premiere its Record Store Day single.
"As we were loading in, the air had a little charge to it," singer and multi-instrumentalist Ferny Coipel describes his band Humbert's first show since the COVID-19 shutdowns. "Parking gods were on our side. We put our blue sky and clouds backdrop up. It was calm and not hurried." A few hours later, Bar Nancy was buzzing with friends, family, and fans of this backbone of South Florida's music scene.

Coipel wasn't even sure anyone would show up to celebrate the Record Store Day Black Friday single, featuring a cheerier cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" and the band's own melody "You Said." But it was an exciting and emotional return to the stage. Drummer Izo Besares, whose son joined them to perform a song, recalls, "I remember looking at each other as we played, so full of gratitude and joy and deeply felt brotherhood."

Most of the band's members were part of the popular '90s act I Don't Know, forming Humbert around the turn of the millennium. Its current iteration includes Coipel, Besares, bassist Tony Landa, and guitarist Jorge Hernandez. Since then, they've performed at South by Southwest in Austin and CMJ in New York City and opened for Ween, the Dead Milkmen, Roger Waters, Expose, and other foundational music acts. And if anyone doubts this legendary act, let them know October 23 is officially Humbert Day in Hialeah. New Times named the group the "Best Local Pop Band" in 2005, and Coipel's hot spot Hialeah studio, the Shack North, "Best Recording Studio" in 2009.

The RSD Black Friday release is the quartet's first vinyl offering and is out on Y&T Records. Founder Rich Ulloa, Coipel says, lit a fire under the members' asses to get them moving on this release. He's put out music by other beloved South Florida acts like the Mavericks, Holy Terrors, and Charlie Pickett. "[Ulloa] lets the artist be the artist," Coipel shares. "His first priority is the honoring of the artist's vision, to be the most important thing, [it] is a superpower to be reckoned with."

The band started working on "Perfect Day" at Browner Studios with Omar Garcia and Juan Ona, formerly of the Brand, before the 2020 lockdown. Humbert is a band of infinite positivity, so it dialed back Reed's darker energy and added strings and clarinets. The band took the ominous line, "You're going to reap just what you sow," Coipel says, "from a Lou Reed warning to a Humbert affirmation." The deluxe version of the single features cover art by Karen Keesler, a Humbert "Perfect Day" guitar pick, a handwritten postcard from the band, and "Gaillardia [flower] seeds from Tree Amigos growers, locally harvested, so you can plant them and reap what you sow." Always thinking of others, the band's last release, Se Reparan Todos, had an envelope and paper in the packaging "so you could write someone who has done you wrong or vice versa, and you could mail them a letter to repair that damage," Coipel adds.

"'Perfect Day' was catharsis all around," Besares says of the recording. "Not seeing each other for so long and not doing what we loved, and going through personal difficulties — perfect conditions for completing something we began with love and unity."

The single's B-side, "You Said," predates that effort, written nearly a decade and recorded five years ago at the Shack North. Coipel has been working on the video for five years, waiting until he found the perfect protagonist, Lola. It's a single-shot video, unedited, in slow motion, created by the director of photography Jorge Gonzalez Graupera. "It's meant to feel calmly deliberate and floaty. It lets you look into her eyes and feel her emotion and tell a story. It allows for tenderness and strength. It delivers the message of love each other every day, even if it's a little bitter," Coipel says.

"All I can say, with complete candor and honesty, is that I wept," says Besares of the first time he saw the video. "I think besides our music, it is the most genuine and true portrait of everything Humbert is."

The video premieres tonight at 8 p.m.
Humbert. With Tiger Sunset and Feral Ember. 10 p.m. Friday, November 25, at Poorhouse, 110 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-522-5145; poorhousebar.com. Admission is free.

With the Crumbs, Antifaces, and Swivvel. 8 p.m. Saturday, November 26, Shirley's at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com. Tickets cost $13 to $15 via eventbrite.com.