Watching the video for the title track to this album is a strange experience. You go through strange emotional reactions based on strange synchronicity. And much like the cover artwork, it’s monochromatic features transfer over to the video. Most of the time is spent using angles and points to accentuate vocalist Fiona Burgess stretching on the floor. You bounce between focusing on her movements and then her singing, depending on how the camera makes you perceive it. Like the act of conversing, the video is simply a means to an end. And much like this concept, so is the construct of the album. Will they help get you through the night? Is it simply expression for something else? Are the songs fine points, much like the British talk show the band is named after? I would have to say they are all of these things and more.
A sophistication British downtempo dreamy pop has tended to provide for us, Woman’s Hour does it so well, you cannot help but be entranced in their mystification.
The beauty behind Conversations is its exactness for tying in elements from across the board—from their videos to their music to their appearance. It’s art in the definition of the term where unlike the clones of Savages to the past, Woman’s Hour focuses on elegance to create a dream-like structure of familiarity while not quite being compared to anything else trending at the time, making this experience seem timeless.
You don’t fall in love with this album like you do a Saint Etienne album. You don’t gravitate to it like you would a Cocteau Twins release. Yet you find all of these elements in the daydreams of Conversations. And where you see most bands today trying to make a point or make sure you are aware of something pointed out by the band, Woman’s Hour simply is. They are the white linen piece of fabric whistfully blowing in the wind. They are the desolate beach photo you took. They are your mind at 4 a.m., still awake from thoughts stemmed from solitude. They are the awareness that you blink and breathe.
And by that we are aware of their music, their aura, and their careful contemplative composure. On the surface, there is a lot to take in, but that may be an illusion from its reflectiveness toward the listener. Conversations is like mediation, and may be one of the more pure intents at music recording we have witnessed yet.