Artist: Woman’s Hour
July 15th will bring the release of London four-piece group’s debut album, Conversations, via Secretly Canadian. The eleven-track album is the introduction to the band’s distinct vibe, synth-pop lightness merged with the depth of the lyrical content sung by Fiona Jane, producing an unconventional sort of harmony.
The opening track “Unbroken Sequences,” performed with such raw emotion, both in terms of the singing and the musical arrangement, probably has autobiographical relevance to the bands’ lives. The title track, “Conversations,” is one of the more light-hearted tracks, both in terms of the musical arrangement and also the lyrical content. With a minimalistic and soothing repetitive chorus, the song contributes to the feeling of serenity, an ever-present feeling while listening to the album. The song draws a stark contrast to others like “Our Love Has No Rhythm” a dark and gloomy portrayal of the realization regarding the baseless foundation of one’s relationship. Part of what makes Woman’s Hour stand out as a band is their lead singer Fiona Jane’s mystical voice, which perfectly compliments the calm and eerie music of the songs to leave the listener in a bit of a trance while listening to the album. Although this perfect harmony between all elements of the song is visible throughout the album, an illustration of this can also be heard in “Darkest Place,” where the calm of the beat overlaps Jane’s mysterious voice as she sings, “Sometimes I push you into the night to the darkest place, the only time we meet.” The album seems to be circling around a single relationship put under a microscope, making visible all its ups and downs. From cherishing special conversations shared between the two, mourning the stagnancy of the relationship to yearning for a lost love, the album features a song highlighting almost every swing of a romance. For instance, she is found speaking of a repetitive pattern in the opening track as well as “In Stillness We Remain” and “To the End” speaks of regrets regarding “falling too deep” into a relationship.
I believe this is a perfect debut for Woman’s Hour, a prelude of better things to come through evolution, experience and growth of the band as a whole. Fiona Jane’s voice laced with minimalist yet impactful music makes the band stand out amongst others of the synth-pop genre.