Canadian four-piece Living Hour float onto the scene with this dreamy debut.
The first full-length offering of this Winnipeg outfit, whilst certainly atmospheric, lacks the ingenuity which listeners have come to expect from top quality dream pop. I've always thought that the mark of a good dream pop album is the ability to evoke a dreamy ambiance whilst experimenting with a range of different influences of sound (Beach House, I'm looking at you). To that end, whilst the transitions from song to song are certainly effective at creating a seemingly insatiable tonal wall, this album could have been improved through greater tempo and harmonic variation. Perhaps this wouldn't be such an issue if Living Hour's instrumental choices had broader scope. Whilst they are able to create a dense, at times symphonic, texture, that's really all they seem to be doing to any great end on this record. The outro of “There is no substance between” and the sparse, largely instrumental conclusion to the album, “Feel Shy”, are notable departures from this stasis, but there's not enough variation across the board. These are, however, early days. If this quartet are able to develop the maturity of tempo and instrumental choice needed to produce a truly great dream pop album, they may just be one to watch for the future considering the grasp they already have on the genre's more epic elements.