The Electromanticism of Thousand Hours
Have you heard of Thousand Hours? As you know, we at Flashwounds try to expose you to an eclectic array of music, so if not, let us be the first to introduce you…
Thousand Hours is a London, UK-based electromantic blue-eyed soul music project featuring Paul Mansford. Paul is a multi-faceted singer, instrumentalist and songwriter whose energetic yet emotive performances employ live and looped vocals/EDM beats/synths, and ambient keyboard stylings. Thousand Hours’ music has elements in common with artists such as James Blake, Daft Punk, Calvin Harris, SBTRKT, M83, and Allen Stone.
In an interview with NPR contributor and musician Stephanie Coleman, Paul shared a bit about his musical background:
“I started singing later in life. At about 16 I played in school bands, rocking out. Bands like Incubus. Got into music tech and performances. I studied vocals for a degree — vocal tech. Was going to do music tech, but then split between performance and tech. My early guitar teacher went to guitar tech. program and I ended up going to study at the same place as him. I met a lot of musicians in doing the degree. My twin brother Alan did the same program in bass and music tech.
I met other singers on the course. One of them was Wayne’s mutual friend who he had been writing together with. Thousand Hours came out of a natural organic process, we’ve just kept on working on songs together, just kept going. Once the recordings existed it evolved into this live one man band setting with looped beats/vocals/synths.
I learned piano through housemate at the university. We swapped lessons. My housemate taught me my first song before the audition. The auditioner presumed that I could play piano but I really could only play the one song I learned for audition at that time [Paul laughs]. I also learned a new song on piano every week for a teaching gig. A little while after that my housemate the piano player was playing a gig that he double booked himself for and asked me to sub for him. I said yes, and had to learn 30 songs really quickly for the gig. I’ve been playing piano 5 or 6 years now, started kind of by accident, but am very glad I’m doing it now. I suppose I’m quick at picking up chords by ear. I like filling the chords out with my hands, rather than doing something too crazy and technical. I prefer to simply accompany my voice.”
The back story of Thousand Hours is one of happenstance intertwined with Paul’s own history. Neither songwriter/producer Wayne Cohen nor Paul, who is also a vocal coach, were looking for a project. Paul was in London and loved Wayne’s songs. They started talking and the chemistry developed naturally from there into collaborating on songs together, including the first demo, “Some Kind Of Beauty.”
The term “Electromantic,” born of Paul and Wayne’s different perspectives on music, has no official definition, leaving it open to audience interpretation ~ it’s a “buzz word,” if you will. Thousand Hours has two different approaches to the music. The loop station is more on the high energy side and the piano and voice provide a more ambient sound. TH could fall into the genre “soulful electronic,” but listen and decide for yourself at here, where you’ll find both videos and music.
And if you’re interested in checking out Thousand Hours (which you should be!), you’re in luck ~ there’s a whole slew of dates coming up in the next week or so. Thousand Hours will perform new material and songs from the debut album Dark & Light, available here.
June 15th @ 1am (early Sunday a.m) Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 1, 196 Allen St. ~ Free drink and admission to the Rockwood if you’re one of the first 20 people to RSVP!
June 17th @ 7:30pm The Bitter End, 147 Bleecker St. ~ $5 cover
June 18 @ 8pm Acoustic show: ZirZamin, 90 W. Houston St. ~ Free entry
June 20th @ 7pm Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery ~ Free entry