Friday 7 February 2014

The Slow Hours - Let's Pretend This Is Real Life EP

EP review by

We're liking "churchcore" as a tag. Whether this is something The Slow Hours came up with we don't know, but it kind of fits. The Isle of Man group have a new EP, 'Let's Pretend This Is Real Life', available on a pay-what-you-want basis, and while the easy and obvious tag would be indiepop, there is something a little more churchcore about these songs. They're not religious and they're not particularly inspired by gospel, so perhaps it's the organ that gives this slant to their sound. Think early Charlatans toned-down a bit and you have a comparison, but then imagine them collaborating with The Sundays (naturally - it is church day after all) and you have an even better one.

First song 'Sloe Gin' is quite understated despite being above mid-pace, and it's also full of melody and creates a real vibe. This vibe is something that's expanded upon with 'Leave Me To Learn', a slower, almost Mazzy Star-like trip through soft vocals and opaque musical textures; layers of sound that seem to resonate with each other to form a complete whole, like a wall of sound for all you dreampoppers out there. Whether The Slow Hours have a bit of a thing for gin is their business, but it's mentioned in two of three song titles here, as we finish with 'No Gin'. Does this lack of gin cause a sad state of affairs? Well, quite possibly. This is the most understated and ambient of the trio, and it explores those layers of sound a bit more, playing around with the mix and positioning the vocals towards the back whilst letting percussion shine a bit brighter. It all makes for a lovely EP though, but perhaps one that's suited to a calming chamomile tea more than some strong alcohol.

The Slow Hours' website

Stream or buy the EP

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