WORTH A LOOK?: ****
If debut Hurts album Happiness was about love and loss and its follow up (Exile) about sex and death, then the new material we’ve heard from fifth album Faith (out 4/9/20) feels like a return to the lyrical themes that made their name.
- Read on for reasons including live reviews from throughout Hurts’ 10-year career
Intervening albums (the less successful Surrender and Desire) continued the northern band’s fondness for one-word titles but ironically aimed for sunnier lyrical climes yet were not rewarded with increasing sales.
First single Voices was a Song Of The Week for us in May and we remarked then that the look was very lockdown while the sound drew on 90s Depeche Mode.
The new album title references that period of that Essex band and the 2nd single from it (listen below) revels in a darker sensibility still while the black and white photographs can’t but help but remind of a British band more appreciated in Eastern Europe than at home.
We saw Hurts live 7 times during the campaign for that 1st album which meant we witnesses their climb from Stoke’s Sugarmill in 2010 to playing host to a surprise guest cameo appearance from Kylie Minogue at the 02 Brixton Academy in 2011.
We’ve written about their gigs regularly since and saw Exile launched at Heaven and put to bed at Lovebox before the Scala was the chosen London venue to launch Surrender before a return to Brixton and a Glastonbury appearance.
We haven’t seen them live for 3 long years and it was O2 Brixton Academy once again where we saw them last.
We said then: ‘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.’
Faith is 9 weeks away and shaping up to be a return to at least thematic form. We hope to get the chance to see the band live for a 13th time in London soon.