19 Aug 2016

Living Hour - Living Hour

Reviewed by Elizabeth Klisiewicz

Winnipeg dream pop group Living Hour is surfing the big reverb wave, like so many bands before them (thinking of Best Coast here). But they do it with style and grace and an appealing laid back vibe.

Opener “Summer Smog” is a perfect example of this, as it offers up sweet female vocals (courtesy of occasional trombonist Sam Sarty) and evokes a wide-eyed innocence of times past. “Seagull” is a hazy delight, painted in watery brush strokes by the smoky voiced Sarty. “This is The Place” has some tasty guitar licks fronting it, and dreamy vocal turns from Sarty. It is expansive and reminds me a bit of Baltimore dream pop faves, Beach House. “Steady Glazed Eyes” ventures a bit off the path into widescreen, psych-pop territory, inhabiting it loosely with sun-kissed melodies and warm, gauzy vocals. I also like the harmonies on this one, though no album credits are given, so I am not sure who is harmonizing in the background. “There Is No Substance Between” has a lot going for it with tasteful singing and a shimmering melody, but it would benefit from an injection of energy. “Mind Goodbyes” is my favorite song here, from the huge reverb and expansiveness down to Sarty’s cooing vocals. “Miss Emerald Green” has trippy infusions to set it apart, and Sarty’s voice is crystal clear instead of being drenched in reverb. “Feel Shy” closes the record at close to seven minutes, and it takes a while to get going. It’s a beautiful song that I imagine is dynamite in a live setting. Sarty does a fair bit of wordless singing, and brings the listener back to Earth gently.

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