Today, A Thousand Hours release their second album, Sleep.
This anthology of songs can be best described as “a diverse but cohesive mix of ethereal wave, shoegaze, dreampop and post-punk.” A Thousand Hours are a fairly new collective but their discography is already becoming fruitful. Just this year, they’ve released their first single in January, their first album in March, and their first EP in May.
A Thousand Hours offers lusty, wintry harmonies that coincide with sounds similar to The XX, Washed Out, Ringo Deathstarr, and Beach House. There are also traces of influence found from 80s and 90s shoegaze bands, such as My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins. If I had to create a new genre for A Thousand Hours, it would be dream warrior music.
Red Collier, the curator of A Thousand Hours, took some time to talk to me about the layers of the production process, her biggest influences, and the collective’s new album, Sleep.
How did A Thousand Hours start and how long has the group been making music?
We are a recent collective. In fact, we only started this January but we have already released two albums because of the way the project is assembled. We aren’t so much a band but a giant revolving collaborative efforts along the lines of This Mortal Coil.
What is the production process like? Sounds like you have a lot of moving parts here.
Well… initially I create demos for songs all on DAW software, they are very crude and really simple. From there I send the tracks to different people and we assemble each song piecemeal. By the time I have all the pieces the songs have changed drastically, however Khan (our producer) and I tie it all together with coherent mixes so that the music, while varied, is consistent.
Have you gotten the opportunity to work with/ collaborate with anyone that you look up to in the music-world?
Yes! On this release I work with Jenny from Fawns of Love (a brilliant modern day dream-pop band), Kylie from Friends of Alice Ivy, and Paul from Beremy Jets. We also have Cat Hall who has a project called Dissonance and Ali Kellogg who is in Sister Calypso. In the past I’ve worked with Mandy Clare from Lights That Change and the members of shoegaze band Whimsical.
So it sounds like you have a LOT of moving parts here. It’s pretty amazing that it comes out sounding so cohesive. How did you all find each other?
We all met through various music groups on facebook… mostly centered around shoegaze or dream-pop. With the exception of Kylie… I’ve been a fan of Friends of Alice Ivy for years and gradually came to know them through my work as a music journalist.
Where are you from originally, and where are you now?
We are all from different states, and even out of country for a few members, so its hard to say exactly where we are from. I was in Alaska when we were putting together the first album but since then I’ve relocated to Auburn, California.
What is your favorite track on Sleep and is there a story behind it?
This is the hardest question… I’m not trying to be cheesy but they are all great and different. I suppose Christina might have to be the answer though, as it was the first song we wrote for this album and checks all the boxes – it’s a bit ethereal, postpunk and shoegaze all at once.
What activities do you see your music most fitting for?
I suppose, nature gazing. Ceiling staring. Nothing active, the music is incredibly slow paced and atmospheric.
Were you involved in any other music groups you before A Thousand Hours?
I was in a slowcore solo project called Swain. I was influenced by Red House Painters and Low at the time. I put out an album but wasn’t satisfied so I immediately set out on new songs…they were darker. I got in touch with Demi Haynes, she’s in this shoegaze band called Seashine and she added some guitar and backing vocals to a track and all of a sudden it wasn’t Swain anymore but A Thousand Hours.
Do you have any other big music influences that you didn’t list above?
Oh yes, most of the golden era 4AD bands (Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Lush, Xymox, This Mortal Coil), Projekt bands like (Lycia, Love Spirals) and some of the hazier shoegaze groups like old Slowdive.
Any more projected releases with A Thousand Hours for the remainder of 2017?
No more releases this year! Done! …probably. I will be doing some compilations but thats about it for now.
Now, I’m curious to know – what is your favorite album of all time?
My favorite album of all time is Victorialand by Cocteau Twins. It takes you somewhere else, a place away from this world. Its soothing and mysterious and so chillingly arctic. Very much love that album.
Listen to A Thousand Hours’ Sleep below: