Watching the video to the title track is a strange experience. You go through many emotions and much like the cover artwork, it’s monochromatic features hypnotically transfer over to video. Most of the time is spent using angles and points to accentuate vocalist Fiona Burgess’s stretching. You bounce between focusing on her movements to her voice, depending on how the camera makes you perceive it. Like conversation, the video is simply an artifact, and much like this concept, so is the construct of the album. Will it help get you through the night? Is it a simple 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 sophisticated British downtempo dream pop posturing, Woman’s Hour does it so well; you cannot help but be entranced by 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. Art in definition, they prey on us unlike the clone device of Savages. 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.
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 exists. 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 the world around you. 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 i’s reflectiveness towards the listener. Conversations is like mediation, and may be one of the more pure intents at music recording we have witnessed yet.