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HATS™ - fear the mourning (Riser)

8 July 2024

HATS™, as their previous musical persona fronting Vienna Ditto, was always a beguiling prospect, adding slinky and scintillating vocals to the marvellously mad music that swirled around them. There is still an echo of that sonic presence to be found here; it is just an echo, for much has changed, too. A solo career suits HATS™, that’s for sure; now, allowing the space and control to create something more deft and delicate, perhaps more personal, maybe more mature, certainly more intimate.

“fear the mourning” is a spacious and atmospheric affair, and much of the sonics that the song runs on are created out of an array of vocals, some as voices forming words, some as voices forging abstract sounds and some as the voice as an instrument, a veritable chorus of HATS™. Through a slow and almost seamless process, some of these give way to more conventional instruments and electronica, though it is often hard to tell which is which, such is the perfect interaction between human and machines.

It is hard to write about HATS™ and not mention the influence and infusions of such artists as Bat For Lashes or Kate Bush. Not that “fear the mourning” is in any way stolen from their sound, but it would certainly be hard to think of many other sonic travelling companions, people on a parallel path, similarly exploratory, visionary even, and this musically brave.

This is gorgeous stuff, but creative and forward-thinking too. It is music for dreamers, music for the discerning, music for those who remember when pop music, although calling this merely pop music is doing it a bit of a disservice, was a driving force rather than an also-ran.