The Blue Hour is the long-time solo project of Goodnight co-founder Keith Vogelsong. Layers of electronics and synths wash over complex rhythms and arrangements to form beautiful, complex, heartfelt songs.
Have you heard the Blue Hour? They’re more or less a one-man band, this guy Keith Vogelsong who originally started it as an acoustic solo project in his bedroom out of Newark, Delaware, writing much different material than the hardcore scene that was going on there at the time. Then he moved down to Atlanta and started Goodnight Records, which is already having a lot of success with bands like The Orphins and Askeleton.
Anyway, after a two song 7”, Keith put out I’ve Filled Up These Pages on Alone Records/Electric Human Project, recording almost all the instruments himself. He’s got a scattered writing process and only had limited gear in the beginning so it was pretty cheaply made but it doesn’t sound that way at all. The whole album is just full of layers and layers of sonic vibrations, piano melodies, programmed drumbeats, guitars and synthesizers that create such a symphony that it’s hard to believe that it was recorded in his bedroom. That may be the reason it sounds a bit claustrophobic but I think it’s just because the wall of sound that builds up is piled so high it just seems to swallow you whole, especially if you’re listening to it on headphones.
Who do they sound like? Aw, man, I hate this question. But then again, labeling is kind of a necessary evil, especially if you’re talking about music. They’re very influenced by Antarctica, I know that much, and it shows. It’s got confessional lyrics, like Bright Eyes. Other people have compared them to bands like The Gloria Record, The Postal Service and even Death Cab for Cutie. And even though I can see how they’d say that, personally I think they’re onto something else entirely, especially with the new directions they’ve been taking. First off, the Blue Hour is a full-fledged band now. They’ve got this guy Jeremy on bass and this other guy David on drums and Grey on keyboards, of course, there’s a computer for their electronic sounds and um….who am I forgetting?
Oh, yeah, Keith. Plus he’s expanded his home studio a great deal and he’s been producing other artists for a while. He’s already done over a dozen bands and now that he’s gained a lot more experience as a producer, he has a better idea of how he wants to expand his sound so the Blue Hour is really starting to evolve. Instead of being so claustrophobic, like the layers of sound are closing in on you, it’s much more open like a landscape, where the band is spreading their sound farther, rather than building it higher. The Blue Hour just finished a six week tour and is currently back to working on their second full-length album.