Friday 17 July 2020

Hurts - Redemption

If music is going to achieve any sort of result it has to move me. Sometimes this movement can be physical - primarily dancing - but likewise it can be some sort of emotional engagement. The new single from Hurts, Redemption certainly achieves the later. 

Hurts has always been a divisive and somewhat misunderstood band; from the moment they first emerged a decade ago coming in the top 5 of the BBC Sound of 2010 and playing an incredible show at Wiltons Music Hall that featured an opera singer and Theo combing his hair on stage, some people struggled with the idea of a duo who displayed big ideas alongside a slight cheesiness. This was I believe primarily because Hurts didn’t fit with the staid clich├ęs that help influence and form the judgements we make about music. There are so many preconceived ideas around pretension, authenticity and naffness. Yet what is perceived as over sentimental songwriting that makes the skin crawl to one person is a thing of huge power to another.

“You've made all our hidden pain inside just cry out and shake what we really are,” comments one person on You tube about this song. “You saved my life in 2010 and you keep on changing me with everything you do,” says another. People from Russia in particular seem to get Hurts and connect with them. Most Brits and Americans less so.

Yet some people will press play on Redemption and vomit. If the idea of Hurts structuring a song like Lewis Capaldi whilst singing of never feeling this far from God make your dark cynical heart feel a bit queasy then get the bucket because you’re going to be very sick. But even if that’s your reaction, stick with it because something quite amazing happens towards the end of Redemption. In a classic Hurts moment, they go the whole hog; orchestras, choirs, a cinematic piece that the word epic was 100% designed for.

You might hate it. You might love it. But I defy anyone not to be moved by this. And that’s a good thing. Music is at its best when it’s a force.

The new Hurts album, suitably titled Faith is released on September 4th.

Hurts - Redemption 

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