Hailing from the North-West and now nestled in London, Woman’s Hour is back delivering their atmospheric, synth-drenched melodic songs to the world.
Words & Interview by Jazzino Tamani
Photos by Alexander Jordan
Fiona, William and Nick grew up together in Kendal before moving to London, meeting Josh and starting Woman’s Hour. Launching back in 2010, the band got its name from the infamous Radio 4 show “Woman’s Hour” as well as one of their first singles. “Jenni”, one of their earliest recordings came from Radio 4 presenter Jenni Murray. In the past two years their sound has changed drastically, with not so much an evolution but a re-evaluation on what direction they want to take. After a brief hiatus, they’ve come back with a much more refined sound and identity.
It’s this idea of identity that seems to be much more at the forefront of the band’s minds, as they recently teamed up with Oliver Chanarin to create the video to their single “Darkest Place” as well as additional artwork. “It began with a love of didactic images, images that explain things; how to resuscitate a dying man, or put a chain on your Chihuahua, or fall over without hurting yourself. These are images made with a certain purpose, but they can be very beautiful too. Accidentally beautiful, this is what we like about them.” Fiona explains the ideas behind the video to “Darkest Place”. “The video pays homage to the 1971 performance ‘Pryings’ by Vito Acconci. In our re-make of this seminal piece of performance art I attempt to sing the lyrics of the song while having my eyes prised open. It’s horrible to watch, simultaneously violent and strangely tender.”
“there’s no template
for how we write songs,
we’re still learning!” FIONA, WOMAN'S HOUR
“Darkest Place” is heavy with synth and moody melodies, whilst Fiona’s uplifting vocals add an airy melancholia to the song. “Thunder”, the latest single from Woman’s Hour, is rich in layers, from the hazy-sounding guitar to the peppery-beat of the synth whilst the dreamy vocals ground the song. Then there’s “To The End” which is slow and seductive, with throbbing electronica sounds and the echo of a guitar making for addictive listening.
It’s clear from the singles released last year that Woman’s Hour have firmly found their feet and are running with this gorgeous, atmospheric sound. As for whether this is an album in the pipeline? “It’s in the making.” Whilst they are now more focused than ever on the music they state that “there’s no template for how we write songs, we’re still learning!” This looks to be the year for Woman’s Hour and it appears they are more than ready to take on the world.