TRACK OF THE DAY: The Blue Hour – ‘Always’

TRACK OF THE DAY: The Blue Hour - 'Always'
Photo by Brian Enright

A few weeks ago, The Blue Hour presented their new single ‘One More Mystery’, giving us a taste of early 4AD-style ethereal folk-noir par excellence with a dance of Siouxsie Sioux thrown in for good measure. The video and original animation was created by Rayhan Khan and produced by Rooster Studio.

This is the first single from their new album ‘Always’. This 11-track offering is replete with swoons whirling the listener into the ether, wisped along with sonic elements cherished by fans of Kate Bush, This Mortal Coil, Marissa Nadler, Dead Can Dance, and Chelsea Wolfe. This new release comes on the trail of their ‘Kyoto Songs’ single, featuring a beautiful rendition of The Cure classic ‘Kyoto Song’.

Living near Seattle, Brian and Marselle Hodges have been inspired by their life amongst the moss and mud and the ferns and forests of the Pacific Northwest, their raw mix channeling the purely natural and the esoteric via The Blue Hour.

Blending traditional folk melodies with dream pop, ethereal wave and synthpop, the result is ethereal folk-noir that is unique to them, charged with haunting ambience and some classical structures. This potent cocktail creates an otherworldly and hypnotic effect, focusing on texture and rhythm and beautiful discord … and most of all magic.

The Blue Hour was born of glamor and squalor. Brian and Marselle met as teenage street kids, sleeping in abandoned buildings and dancing the nights away in Seattle’s new wave clubs. After many lost years, they again reunited and began creating music together. The band has seen several incarnations since founded in 1993 by multi-instrumentalist Brian Hodges. Originally intended to be a side project to psychedelic goth band Black Atmosphere, The Blue Hour released several albums of “romantic ethereal neofolk” between 1998 and 2001 for European independent labels Perun and Big Blue.

Brian Hodges put his music on hiatus until 2016, when he again began writing in order to teach the craft to their daughter. That project became the band’s new single “One More Mystery”, which saw the addition of Marselle’s voice and melodies – creating the gold seam that ran right into their new album ‘Always’.

Over the years, Brian and The Blue Hour have played with numerous seminal goth, new wave and neofolk acts, including The Church, Sex Gang Children, Gitane Demone, Unto Ashes, Sol Invictus, and In Gowan Ring.

Co-written and performed by Brian and Marseille, the two also share vocal duties on the ‘Always’ album. Maria Grig also contributes strings on three tracks: ‘One More Mystery’, ‘Block the Sound’ and ‘Lost Landmarks’. Written and recorded between December 2016 and June 2017 at the Piksie Nest and Rabbit Hole, this album was mastered by Wade Alin at Standard Mastering.

While not making music Brian Hodges works as a lawyer, researcher, and non-fiction writer. His fiction has been published by New Lit Salon Press, the Bearded Scribe Press, and Liquid Imagination, with his work having received acclaim in niche literary circles.

The Blue Hour will be released on October 27, but is already available for pre-order via their own Bandcamp.

TRACK LIST

1. One More Mystery 04:32
2. Fire on Rooftops 04:14
3. And When I Wake Up 03:26
4. Come Find Me 03:40
5. Block the Sound 03:12
6. A Ghost Walked in Antwerp 01:34
7. On the Wall 03:46
8. False Moon Glow 04:48
9. A Tree Stands Alone 03:16
10. Tower Over Me 03:45
11. Lost Landmarks 03:05

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