Thursday, February 11, 2016

Album Review :: Living Hour - Living Hour

Living Hour

Living Hour

February 19 2016 (Lefse)


Words: Linn Branson

It was to be expected that the debut LP from Canada's Living Hour would be something delightful after they released lead track 'Seagull' last year. And, indeed, this work of dreamy love songs inspired by the skyline of their Winnipeg hometown, is as resplendent as could be wished.

Blending bright shimmering guitar pop with thick Casio drones and their watery vocals, their sound is very much like being bathed in a warm bed of cotton wool. Combining ambient melodies worked around psych-like drones, celestial harmonies drift languidly over layers of reverb and effects, and an oscillating haze as typified with opener 'Summer Smog'. Undoubted highlight is 'Seagull' which soars like the bird of its title, an atmospheric and beautifully evocative track with striking guitar lines and Samantha Sarty's vocals so exquisite they bring a lump to the throat.

'This Is The Place' first made itself known two years ago (when the band were called The Hours), and may possibly have undergone some tweaks, pulling in more of a psych edged feel than pure dreamgaze. Unlike 'Steady Glazed Eyes which is full on shoegazed layers of swirling guitars that fold around the vocal. The darker hued, slow tempo 'There Is No Substance Between' and the 'Miss Emerald Green' add further sparkle - the latter oozing out on a garage pop line until trippy guitars break in - before the near seven minutes of 'Feel Shy', feel anything but shy as its sonic palette encompasses images of the Cocteau Twins in their heyday, a band whose style draws Living Hour numerous comparisons to.

Dreampop doesn't come more blissful.

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