Ease the Work
(Dear Life)
Add date: 4.16.2024
Release date: 4.12.2024

Apple Music
Dear Life
Official Website

Hour is an instrumental ensemble demonstrating a compositional ethos grounded in rote arrangement and group improvisation, while aiming for breathy timbral intricacy and carefully balanced melodicism.

Formed in the flourishing underground of West Philadelphia in the latter half of the 2010s, Hour fluctuates in size and scope around composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Cormier-O’Leary (Friendship, Dear Life Records) who provides a clear yet open-ended harmonic framework and an ambitious ear towards evoking atmosphere, both expansive and intimate. 

Cormier-O’Leary has contributed notably across the landscape of independent music, and Hour clearly distills the versatile range and community-minded nature of his touch. 

Recorded in early 2023, Ease the Work features stunning and expansive new compositions built upon the foundation of Hour’s first two records Tiny Houses and Anemone Red.

Nine musicians traveled via ferry with an entire studio’s worth of equipment to record live in an old off-Broadway theater on Peaks Island in Maine. The week-long session started tumultuously, with an island-wide power outage halting recording on the first day. Still, the group managed to wrap up the basic tracking of fourteen songs by day three. For an album compositionally and thematically fixated on reaching for what lies just beyond what is possible, the experience could not have been more apt. 

The resulting record is undeniably grand, balancing a reverence for sweeping gestures from classic film scores and pop orchestras with the arresting intimacy that characterizes Hour’s earlier work. Distinct and solitary voices swirl in communion maintaining a constant but deliberate dialogue.