Hurts are the first of two acts on our ones to watch list for 2010 that threaten to bring an ostentatious, stern, eastern European look back into fashion for bands. There was a time before brit pop and grunge when many a group that marched out of art school brought obscure literary references, intense synth darkness and an aloof composure to the stage that has been all but forgotten these days. Certainly visually Hurts are likely contenders to bring it back. They are also the only band on our list who are not afraid to drop a saxophone solo into the middle of one of their songs.
With such a tasteful visual aesthetic that includes perfectly formed haircuts and smart suits - we're thinking young Gary Kemp from Spandau Ballet here - together with a Myspace blog that posts excerpts of Larry Cuba’s 1980’s film Calculated Movements with its animated computer programmed grey white geometric trajectories - what is surprising about Hurts is how accessible, radio friendly and commercial their music sounds. It's modern, (and by modern we mean modern production values with a hint of 1987/88 to it) lush synth pop that more than justifies its existence, whatever the bands image. Rumours abound of songs that hint at Violator era Depeche Mode, or Ultravox when they were good, but for the moment the bands label are keeping many of these songs very much locked away.
Hailing from Manchester Hurts are Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson. They have a past history with the two of them previously having been in the band Daggers. They are currently putting the finishing touches to their album in Sweden and are due to play a handful of special shows in February, including a church and a hidden crumbling old London theatre. We will be watching for them with interest in 2010 to see if the public push them chart bound. We suspect there is a chance. A pretty good chance.