LIVING HOUR

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada an “inland island that floats on infinite prairie ground,” Living Hour has always been a band that’s thrived in seclusion. Suspended in the middle of a continent, Winnipeg is a place of cycles and extremes and the contrast of its seasons means the group is constantly adapting and making the most of what lies around them. Helping to foster a thriving local community, and taking inspiration from the faces and places of their hometown, the band have always been motivated by the belief that their own music only gets more interesting when it includes other voices.

For their new album, Living Hour followed this vein of collaboration even further, calling upon friends and peers from near and far to impart their talents on the ideas the band had been harvesting. The fruit of this labour is Someday Is Today, the band’s third full-length effort and the much-anticipated follow-up to their 2019 Softer Faces LP, acclaimed by the likes of NPR, Stereogum, Paste, Vice, Bandcamp, and more.

Living Hour’s core remains built around founding members Gilad Carroll (Guitar/Vocals), Adam Soloway (Guitar/Vocals) and Sam Sarty (Bassist/Keyboardist/Vocalist), who’ve been writing together since 2014, and Brett Ticzon (Bass/Keys/Drums), who joined the band in 2018. On Someday Is Today, the group’s sound is collaborated with a variety of drummer friends including Jason Tait (The Weakerthans, Broken Social Scene). The group’s sound is fleshed out further with the help of album’s three producers: Melina Duterte (Jay Som, Bachelor, Chastity Belt), Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Snail Mail, The Drums), and Samur Khouja (Cate le Bon, Deerhunter, Regina Spektor) all of whom impart their own backgrounds on the album’s finished glow. 

Composed of eleven new songs, Someday Is Today is Living Hour at their most pensive and longing. The vulnerable lyrics are brought beautifully to life by lush and generous instrumentation that winds its way through the album. It was recorded over seven straight days during the dark depths of a Manitoba winter, with the band cocooned in the sounds they were making as the temperature hit -30 outside the door. “It’s a grind, but it’s incredibly challenging in a frustratingly beautiful kinda way,” Sarty says of their local environment. “It pushes you to keep going, to keep finding glimmers to move forward. A silver piece of wrapper sticking out a snowbank becomes your altar. The big grey sky gets me giddy.”

The recording process of Someday is Today wrapped up months of disjointed, electronic correspondence between the band members, all of whom spent 2020 in greater seclusion than they were accustomed to, recording ideas into phones and computers before sharing them with each other via zoom calls. The demos were built up remotely, piece-by-piece, in great contrast to the in-person rehearsals that had been so fundamental to their previous work.

This fractured breed of creativity naturally drifted into the songs themselves. Sam Sarty’s lyrics – pulled from journals, iPhone notes, and napkin scribbles – come suffused with reflections on disassociation, human interactions with technology, and a poignant contemplation of life in liminal spaces. The album’s cover artwork ties into these themes, with a vulnerable belly button peeking out from a pair of jeans. 

Musically, the band’s sound grows to warm and earthy new perimeters on Someday Is Today. There’s the chugging brilliance of ‘Feelings Meeting,’ a collaboration with Jay Som, which immediately redefines the band’s capabilities. A rousing encapsulation of the album’s moods, it sways woozily between Sarty’s soothing voice and heavy instrumental breaks, the quiet/loud dynamics shift the tempo unexpectedly from crushing highs to breathy lows. 

Elsewhere, ‘No Body’ speaks directly to dissociation. Sarty’s fragile voice is backed by a slow ripple of percussion, describing a brooding, dark mood that drifts through a restaurant room by day with its faded laminate menus and faceless customers. “I’m staring at the sugar cube, it always has reminded me of you in softer hues,” Sarty sings with palpable despondency. A subtle juxtaposition,  ‘Miss Miss Miss’ showcases the band’s colourful experimental workings, the track offering a playful layering of their sound where clipped beats and splashes of synth conjure a languid groove that balances the emotional weight of the record.

The first Living Hour album to share lead vocals across different songs, Someday Is Today thrives by keeping just enough connection across its various sonic and thematic palettes for the whole thing to feel like one cohesive world. Whether it’s the album’s soft and gorgeous harmonies or the captured sound of wind tubes being swung above their heads, the songs here feel bound by something bigger than themselves; an energy that flourished in spite of it all, a human connection that grips just strongly enough even when pushed to its frayed, unreachable extremes.

  • Tom Johnson

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Living Hour is:
Sam Sarty (she/her)
Gil Carroll (he/him)
Adam Soloway (he/him)
Brett Ticzon (he/him)


Living Hour 1_photo credit Adam Kelly
IMAGES: To download, click above. Press photo credit to Adam Kelly.

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