Confronting truths and finishing the job
It’s rare that we get to hear bands talk about their own demise and break-up because, well, they break up. They stop releasing music and stop doing interviews and they disappear from public view. Maybe we hear about the sour implosion of a previous band when one member goes onto a new and successful project, or we get to see the fraught, niggling, palpable tensions and egos of a monster band in turmoil like Metallica via a warts and all documentary. But the reality is, most bands don’t have the money and luxury of time that Metallica do to work shit out. When they disappear, they often do so quietly in a toxic meld of burn out, disappointment, resentment, low finances, broken dreams and cracked friendships.
For a period this story could have almost applied to Woman’s Hour, the London via Kendall three- (previously four-) piece. They combined an essence of dream pop with pristine electronics, sensory grooves and a whisper-in-your-ear intimacy that during the early 2010s led to a string of successful singles that created a notable buzz around them before they signed to Secretly Canadian and released a debut album in 2014. They then collapsed during the making of their second album in 2016 and broke up. However, after an absence from making music – and one another – they started to think about the unfinished album that had caused them to part. “The thought of it just sitting in someone’s hard drive was heartbreaking,” says singer Fiona Burgess. “It needed to be out there.” So, after scrubbing up the unfinished tracks, the band (or ex-band, as is still the case) are now finally releasing ‘Ephyra’ and healing old wounds in the process.