Formerly a part of Swain, new band A Thousand Hours released their debut album on the 17th of March. A month or two ago I had the pleasure of reviewing The Desolate Hour, their lead single from the project. The band’s sound is slow, eclectic and atmospheric with the lead singer’s airy tone and fascinating instrumentation and effects leading the way. This band is not for the club-junkies. As their vibe is laid-back and reliant on long sustained chords, the listener should beware of falling into a relaxing trance when hearing their tunes.
The first track Endless Grey sets up the sonic atmosphere of the album as subtle and spacey. Although the song doesn’t go anywhere, the beginning of the track has a build up to the chorus that lends itself well to the band’s sound. B added an acoustic guitar and harp which added a slight shift which differentiated between this and the first track. Ship employed a darker tone than the previous songs with a repetitive bass line and low vocals. Moments began with the bent pitch of synth strings that gradually merged into the next chord, but after the verse it had the same sound as the much of the album which showed consistancy but could also been heard as repetitive. I enjoyed the groovy and surprising chords in Tender which had an interesting effect that caused parts of the music to go in and out of focus.
A brief interlude took place in the middle of the album which lead smoothly into Down which included some great little twists in its melody. The beat was more pronounced in Flood, with a heavy accent on the kick bass and a more driving melody than was previously heard on the album. Desolate Hour was the next tune and their lead single from the album, and if you’d like to know more about it you can read my review of the track from a couple of months back. Rainy Days was when I really noticed that A Thousand Hours use an echo effect regularly on the album. Don’t get me wrong, I did think the echo added to the hazy music in a great way on this track, but it washed over me because it had been used so consistently to a lesser extent on the rest of the album. I think if the effect had been used in the same way on the track but not as much previously it would have had a bigger impact. I also would have liked to hear another instrument take on the bass line. It was interesting and catchy melody that deserved to be in the forefront of the music. The album ended with Closure, a fitting name for the finishing song. What was great was that it included, seemingly out of nowhere, electric guitars. What a way to go out with a bang!
I think A Thousand Hours still has a way to go when it comes to integrating enough diversity into their tracks to keep listeners on their toes without straying from their own musical style. At the moment, they are very much staying in their comfort zone with a few exceptions like Closure and Flood. If they can find a way to expand on their sound while still keeping with their repetitive, atmospheric vibe they could go places, especially in the music-side of the film industry. I give the album 7.5/10.
For more information about the band check out their Facebook Page