Immediate music and arresting lyrics demand our undivided attention as The Hour take listeners on a tour of the heart and soul in Father, a cool and fresh sophomore EP.
Stream: ‘Father’ – The Hour
An intoxicatingly heavy energy courses through The Hour’s sophomore EP; though dark, the mysterious UK collective’s music is neither depressing nor uplifting, but simply intense: Immediate music and arresting lyrics demand our undivided attention as The Hour take listeners on a tour of the heart and soul in Father, a cool and fresh follow-up to their stirring 2019 debut.
Released April 3rd, 2020 via FutureKind, Father is the second in a pair of introductory EPs that give listeners a comprehensive getting-to-know-you look at musical collective The Hour – a seemingly genre-less, “alternative” UK-based musical group led by frontman Josh Record. Best compared to acts like Los Angeles trio BRÅVES (who also test the bounds of description and refuse to confine themselves to any one template), The Hour introduced themselves last year with their six-track debut Mother, an equally expressive and engaging experience.
Whereas the group last time began their record with the heart-shaking falsetto croons of “Wasted,” they begin Father with the moody, intimate “Amen.” A deeper cut, this song sets the tone of the record with its sobering, stark lyricism: Father promises to be a fulfilling listen, but it’s one that requires patience and the undivided attention of its audience. The following track “Overdue” opens up to lighter emotions while maintaining the opener’s harrowing sonic depth; a balance of warm and cold elements, along with Josh’s own delicate, soulful cries, make for a muted, but nonetheless special, outpouring of emotion.
The mix of rock, hip-hop, gospel, industrial and electronic elements in “No One’s Going to Heaven” make it a unique listen from the start. The Hour keep their verses interesting, revolving them yet again around Josh’s harmony-laden vocal outpourings in the chorus. These catchy, smoky melodies continue into “Should’ve Made It Real,” a track short enough to be an interlude but impassioned enough to deserve its own recognition, thanks once more to the power and emotion coming out of Josh’s haunting performance.
The Hour save the best for last on their sophomore EP, closing Father out with a beautiful duet between Josh and Oslo’s own Anna Of The North. The group’s most stripped-down piece to date, “The Whole Damn Time” finds the two singers exchanging achingly bittersweet verses alongside solemn piano chords and an evocative string arrangement. A song of connection, realization, and intimacy, this track exhibits the very best of what The Hour have to offer in musical strength, lyrical prowess, and pure human emotion:
We go back a long way since before my mind can tend,
and I masked your appeal with the trappings of a friend,
waking in the morning you were in the other room
buried under feathers and nursing evening brew
the whole time you’ve been under my nose
the whole damn time
and the whole time you’ve been under my nose
the whole damn time
“The Whole Damn Time” is magical – a fittingly poignant, subdued crescendo, and the perfect ending for an EP otherwise marked by a relatively dark, dynamic ambience.
Father is intense, but it’s a good kind of intensity: The kind that arrests the senses and sends us diving inward in our search for answers and understanding.
With a colorful palette of timbres, a variety of production techniques, and Josh’s sweet, stirring voice at their disposal, The Hour cement their status as an up-and-coming alternative act worth watching – not to mention listening to on repeat. Songs like “The Whole Damn Time” only come about every so often, and The Hour deserve nothing but high praise for pulling off a thing of such exquisite beauty.
Stream the full Father EP, out now.
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? © 2020
an EP by The Hour