Kendal band Woman’s Hour are following the release of their already critically-acclaimed album Ephyra with a UK tour. This begins in their hometown of Kendal and includes shows at London’s The Dome, and Brighton’s The Prince Albert on Weds 20 March
Ephyra was so close to completion back in 2016 but due to deteriorating mental heath, the band decided to break up shortly before it was finished. For Woman’s Hour, the breakup represented so many different things: relief, sadness, grief. A year after separating, they felt a collective drive and desire to finish the album.
During this writing process, communication between the band members became increasingly fraught and tense. The songs themselves became a way to explore these feelings and express their effect. Loud, aggressive crescendos are followed by isolated vocal harmonies or haunting foley which combines to create an intimate-yet-dynamic palette and a bold, frank medium for the messages that are contained within. Emotions that felt too ugly or too painful to talk about were delivered as lyrics.
The process has been an unconventional one: writing an album, breaking up, leaving their label, and spending a year apart before feeling an un-suppressible need to release what they made together. The release of Ephyra affirms that Woman’s Hour are a band in flux. With a record forged from remains, ‘Ephyra’ is a post mortem examination of a band unafraid of honesty, no matter how exposing it may feel. It poses the question of whether this is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.
Woman’s Hour play Brighton’s The Prince Albert on Weds 20 March 2019
Image by Matilda Hill-Jenkins