Living Hour gets totally psychedelic

Photo courtesy of | Members of the young dream pop band from Canada describe themselves as the musical version of your best teenage backseat makeout memory.

Living Hour’s ethereal dream pop sent me swaying, eyes closed, away down a river into a psychedelic trance during a performance at Northside Yacht Club on Thursday.

Living Hour, originally from Winnipeg, is a psychedelic dream pop band with heavy shoegaze influence that has released one eponymous album. For those who don’t know what dream pop or shoegaze is, these are just different names for the same type of music. Dream pop is characterized as a sort of neo-psychedelic indie rock, focused heavily on ambient noise. This kind of effect is typically achieved through heavy distortion from guitar pedals, feedback and almost unintelligible vocals. Essentially, it’s music that makes you feel like you’re dreaming — done amazingly well by Living Hour.

As I stood, swaying in the center of the room, one of nearly 20 total people there (including the members of SUNGAZE, who opened the night), I felt myself becoming lost in the sound. Every time I opened my eyes, I was more and more impressed by the band.

The band is a five-piece fronted by a female keys player and trombonist. She would switch between her dreamy singing and psychedelic keys and the beautiful complement of her trombone that I didn’t know I needed until I heard it. I was also impressed by the lead guitar player, who spent the entire show sitting in front of his pedal board with a broken right foot. When I first saw him plop down into his chair, I was a wee bit worried about him being able to manage the dozen pedals in front of him, but he seemed to manage with only his left foot, changing the effects on his guitar when it was the perfect time.

As with most shows from bands who play in the shoegaze/dream pop genre, there wasn’t much audience interaction or many wild things happening onstage. The term “shoegaze” comes from a description of what most of the shows were like in the 1980s: The band members would all be staring at their shoes, gazing into them with a detached, humble introspection. Living Hour fit this stereotype perfectly, and I loved it. I felt like I myself was floating on my back in a lake, being taken whatever direction the soundwaves Living Hour sent my way.

By: Kevin Thomas ~U.S. & World News Editor~

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