Hybrid were recommended to me by a guy I knew from an online forum around 10 years ago when I was asking for music recommendations; I'd never heard of them so I added them to the list of artists I'd been given.
I listened to three of their albums, Wider Angle, Morning Sci-Fi, and I Choose Noise, together and was immediately surprised that they sounded like nothing I'd heard before; they weren't dramatically different or groundbreaking, but they were very distinctive and I loved it. If I Survive stuck out on the first listen, as did Dogstar, Choke, and Until Tomorrow with its constant rhythm that breaks out with some fantastic beats.
The next album I went to was Disappear Here and quickly discovered that it was filled with some amazing tracks. Listening to the title track brought on a feeling of melancholy, as if lamenting a lost love, and had a chorus that fitted that feeling perfectly. Formula Of Fear gave me tingles during its intro, with the slow build eventually giving way to more superb beats and energetic vocals. (I should point out that I'm a huge fan of tracks featuring constant, building rhythms that add layers of vocals and other instruments.) Original Sin was another standout that became a favourite after several plays. When I got to Break My Soul, the piano and orchestra intro made me sit up and pay attention, and when the orchestral strings picked up during the chorus, I'm pretty sure I said "Holy shit!" or something similar – even today that bit still gives me tingles, and if I absolutely had to pick, this would be my favourite Hybrid track. (When I saw them live in 2018 I was waiting for this track to be played, and when the first piano note was struck at least one other person in the crowd shouted "Yes!")
In 2018 they released Light of the Fearless, their first new album since I started listening to them around eight years previously. The single Light Up sounded pretty good on the first listen and was definitely one of their most mainstream tracks – even my uncle liked it. The rest of the album was okay, but there was a definite shift in style from their previous albums. Their cover of Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down was pretty emotional and is a particular highlight in what, to be honest, isn't my favourite album of theirs.
Aside from their own tracks, Hybrid have done a few cover versions including the aforementioned I Won't Back Down and Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence – this is a particular favourite of mine, not only because I love the original, but also because it is a damn good cover version, too. In the years between Disappear Here and Light of the Fearless they also released plenty of remixes and alternate versions of their tracks; the orchestral versions are particularly superb and seem quite a logical step as they use plenty of orchestra in their tracks as standard practice.
After a few years of listening to them, I thought about looking into their history and finding out a bit more about them and I was surprised to discover that they were originally from Wales as, for whatever reason, I'd assumed that they were international and were from somewhere else in Europe or even America. I was even more surprised to read that the current two members had moved to Worcestershire in England; this was where I lived at the time. I suddenly imagined bumping into them in Worcester city centre and, foolishly, prepared a few things in my head incase I ever did actually meet them.