I first heard North Wales alt-pop quartet last year when they released the hook laden earworm electro pop of ‘Cool Reaction’ , now they are are back with ‘Calling,’ an anthem of solidarity, and we are premiering the video today, with nods to Thelma and Louise, displaying a tight girl gang friendship, a tongue in cheek Lipstick Mascot, it shows that they’re a band brimming with personality.
With strident singalong vocal harmonies, and glistening guitars ‘Calling’ was written when one of the band members, Katie, was going through a bad time. The opening line belts, ‘The clothes on the floor they really are piling, she keeps adding more’. Recalling the time she sat looking at the pile of clothes on her floor during a period of depression, she remembers the rest of her bandmates calling her up to check she was okay.
It’s not only a celebration of friendship and community but also a solidarity anthem for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, that life is getting on top of them – that they are literally drowning in a pile of clothes.
“This is a statement to say, we have been there, and you’re loved.”
HOURGLVSS say: “ The video was filmed in our Vintage warehouse rehearsal space using a green screen and a borrowed Rolls Royce – We wanted the main character in the song to have an animated/ whimsical feel to keep the video light hearted, so we used our Lipstick Mascot who eventually is freed from their dark hole and sadness from persistent calling from friends which is the basis and message of the song. In the final scene we referenced Never Ending Story with the main character being saved and joining the Magical Friendship Ride.”
HOURGLVSS are made up of best friends Katie Benbow (vocals / keyboard), Sophie May Williams (vocals / keyboard), Rosie Hamilton (guitar) and Lauren James (drums)
Here, they create fantasy pop anthems that draw influence from the likes of Wendy and Lisa, Self Esteem, Confidence Man and Depeche Mode, glittery DIY music videos and their own repurposed, sustainable merch all celebrating friendship, female love, queerness and healing.
Soon after, Rosie and Lauren joined the band, and the sisterhood was locked in. “It’s a girl gang, people come up to us after our gigs and want to be our friends, we are building a community for everyone.”
The strong female bonds HOURGLVSS have created has meant they can finally be completely free in their songwriting and production. “In the past, I had felt guarded in music, and reluctant to put ideas forward. Now it’s a comforting environment to share our ideas, and not feel stupid. Even if we have an idea and it is shit, we tell each other, but it never feels like an attack” adds Sophie.
Not only can they be free in their music but also in their artistic direction, with fashion playing a huge part in the collective. “All our outfits and videos are customised and styled by Vintage Hearts, with Nadia Lee inspired looks” says Katie. HOURGLVSS’ passion for all things vintage and sustainability translates to their merch which they create from repurposed items; designing hand painted tote bags and patchwork fabric style sweatshirts.
As the project offers somewhere for vulnerability and open discussion, HOURGLVSS often reflect on their own narratives and how they navigate mental health battles within their music.
“The themes of our songs began to naturally change since being together, it became easier to speak about what was going on in our brains and our lives as women at this current time.”
“These songs are about our friends, our girlfriends, our mental health. At practice we always ask each other how we are doing, and we talk, it’s like a coffee morning” adds Katie.
“Before HOURGLVSS, I never had a group of solid girlfriends. This is a love letter to all the girls in the band and to all girls and their friends. I had never found a community where I felt I fit in and where you all care about each other, where you can tell something is up with someone and want to check in.”
5th Wrexham, Focus Wales Festival, Wynnstay Hotel (07:20 PM)
16th Isle of White Festival