Beauty can be found even in the most painful moments. It happened to me when I was going through a troubled moment in my life. I didn’t know who I was anymore and didn’t know where I was heading. I was going through a rough patch and didn’t think I’ll ever pull myself back up again. The pieces of me were shattered on the floor in the room I was living in and none of them fitted back together. Then, one day I discovered Hurts. Two classy young men were staring at me from a TV in a bakery shop. I couldn’t hear what they were singing, there was no volume, but their look intrigued me. A minimalistic video with women dressed like they were going to a funeral and dancing in the most peculiar way. I memorized the name of the band and promised myself that I’ll listen to the song that I saw on TV as soon as I get home. I didn’t forget. As a matter of fact, the name stuck in my head like a fly sticks to honey and as soon as I listened to the song, I was entranced. Soon I wanted more. Eventually I got addicted, and now here I am.
Hurts is a band from Manchester that consists of two members, Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson. Theo provides his smooth, soothing voice in the songs, while Adam plays the piano or the guitar. Their songs are full of melancholy, expressing deep emotions in a poetic way. The duo released their first album, Happiness in 2010. Their debut single, Wonderful Life(official version here, live version here, acoustic version here) is about a man who has lost all hope of living. Better than Love is a song that questions the importance of love and if there is a stronger emotion that we can experience. Sunday is a 80’s inspired pop song in which love is discussed in a optimistic light at first, but it has some dark overtones in the lyrics. Somehow, this song reminds me of Gloomy Sunday. The songs which I listen to most of the time from this album are Silver Lining, for its optimism, Illuminated, for its recollection of how insignificant we are and that we should enjoy life more and Unspoken, for helping me make a life changing decision.
I strongly recommend listening to the whole album, where you’ll find songs like Stay, Devotion (demo version here), Blood Tears and Gold, Evelyn, The Water (which incidentally had a wonderful rendition this year on Art on Ice, with championship figure skater, Stéphane Lambiel) and Verona. In late 2010 they even made a Christmas song, entitled All I Want for Christmas is New Year’s Day. There are several songs that weren’t included on the official album, but can be found on the interweb, like Mother Nature, Affair and believe it or not, Happiness, although the latter is sung by the boys in their concerts.
The sound of the band is 80’s inspired all the way, but their classic clean look seems taken from the 1920s, which I think makes them more appealing. They exude elegance in every performance, whether it’s a music video or a concert. I won’t deny the fact that the band’s look influenced my love for their music. I like it when a band looks good as well as sounds good and this duo has plenty of both. Theo and Adam’s choice for suits and shirts, the classic man’s look, is an answer to all of my prayers and Theo’s boyishly good looks along with his smoldering voice make me regret that they weren’t around when I was fifteen, the age where you’re permitted to have a crush on a singer, rather than go crazy at twenty years old. But to be fair, their music isn’t for fifteen year olds, it’s mature and tackles different aspects of life, mostly because the duo wrote the songs when they were going through some difficult times and the themes are dark. After all, there is a reason why they’re called Hurts.
Besides making spectacular songs, these boys can remake the most awesome covers. There’s Diana Vicker’s Once, Kylie Minogue’s Confide in Me (as a gesture of appreciation for being included on their single Devotion and for making a cover of one of her songs, Kylie also did a cover of the duo’s song Wonderful Life, which you can listen here), Elton John’s Live Like Horses (listen to a fan’s mashup of both versions here), Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven, Selig’s Ohne Dich and Oasis’ Wonderwall. They even remixed Lady Gaga’s Judas and gave it their own unique twist. From early on, these guys have proven that they aren’t some pretty faces with a marketing strategy. A proven fact is that there is no band that looks or sounds like them.
In 2013 they released Exile, which deals with even darker themes, like rage, anger, pain, despair and the questioning of faith, but I will leave the discussion of that album for another article. For now, I wanted to introduce you to the band and maybe entice you to become a fan like me, or at least enjoy some of their songs. If you like your music to be cheerful and happy with bubbly cuddly melodies, then this isn’t the band for you, but if you enjoy a bit of depth to your songs, with various themes and symbols about love and existence with darker undertones, sung in a melancholic way, then this is the band you’re going to enjoy.
To give a proper closure to my article and in case I’ve caught your interest on these two young fellows, I’ll leave you with some links with them in several interviews (in case you’re interested, like me, to know how they behave during one), and a concert at a fashion show.
Enjoy and thank you for reading!
Hurts at Energy Fashion Awards where technology fails the band (for a bit).
by Mihaela Axinte