WORTH A LOOK?: ****
The look is very lockdown: singer Theo Hutchcraft has longer hair than we’ve ever seen him sporting before and multi-instrumentalist Adam Anderson’s beard is fuller than we remember.
- Read on for reasons including everything we know about Hurts’ 5th album
Bands that have traditionally made their money from touring in recent years face a new coronavirus challenge in this period without gigs and the music industry appears to be responding with a new emphasis on releasing new music rather than postponing its output as was noticeable last month.
Hurts have a sizeable following in Eastern Europe and it was with little fanfare that this 19th single and early taste of the Manchester duo’s fifth album, and first since September 2017, dropped this week.
We know that new album is imminent but we don’t know its title although speaking to NME this week the band promised to ‘get back to the essence of what we do and who we are’, signalling a return to the darkness of their multi-million-selling debut album.
The sound is very Violator-era Depeche Mode which is to say there is a picked guitar opening, almost church organ hook and a bridge packed with a clap-along chanting section.
Hurts had a chart-topping single guesting on Calvin Harris’ Under Control in 2013 and while we don’t see this doing as well it’s great to hear them releasing new music and the lyrical paranoia they’ve embraced here seems a perfect lockdown fit.
Hutchcraft told NME: ‘The last few years have been all over the place for the pair of us. I was desperate to get that type of sentiment out. It’s a strange and paranoid pop song, which isn’t something that you hear very often. It’s looking at how the mind can be both a force for good and a force for evil. A lot of our music is very emotionally raw but there are depths we’ve yet to mine. Voices is probably as raw as a sentiment gets for me. It’s something I never really felt able to write about for a while. I hope people see that and it brings them closer to who we are.’
New dates aren’t yet forthcoming but we’ve written previously about their memorable gigs over the years and noted during their last London appearance in 2017: ‘Trying hard and giving it your all may not currently be in vogue here in Britain but there’ll always be a devoted audience somewhere for a band writing such catchy as well as genuinely affecting songs.’ Fingers crossed we get to see them on a London stage and soon.
- Picture via Facebook courtesy Hurts. Tickets
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