Living Hour bring sad songs to Big Fun

By Julijana Capone

Living Hour among Big Fun’s stacked 2017 lineup.
Photo: Courtesy of Living Hour

CALGARY — “We kind of can’t stop writing sad songs,” says Sam Sarty, the angelic lead vocalist of Winnipeg dream-pop unit Living Hour, also one of the acts set to perform at the 2017 edition of Big Fun Festival.

Last year, the band played an unforgettable pop-up show in a warming hut on the frozen river at The Forks. They’re slated to take the show indoors this year for an evening set at the West End Cultural Centre during the week’s festivities.

“Big Fun is something to look forward to in January,” says Sarty. “There’s such a concentration of shows, and it just brings everyone together in a more special way.”

Ones to watch among Winnipeg’s dream-pop/shoegaze revivalists, Living Hour’s self-titled debut, released via Portland-based imprint Lefse Records in 2016, overflowed with washed-out textures, weaving together the enveloping sounds of love, sadness, and drowning serenity.

Setting their sights even further afield after its release, the fivesome spent part of the last 12 months touring the record through the U.S. and Europe. And, in the time between jaunts, they’ve already begun plugging away at a follow-up, with a new member being added to the fold.

Mischa Decter (Surprise Party) replaced David Schellenberg on bass last fall, while core members Sarty, guitarists Gil Carroll and Adam Soloway, and drummer Alex Chochinov continue to round out the group.

With the new lineup in place, a winter tour is in the works, and some fresh sounds have been surfacing. Though it’s probably still too early in the writing phase to know which direction the group will go in, Sarty says they’ve been exploring other tunes that could make their way onto the finished product.

“All of us have been going through a twee-pop bedroom phase… is that even a genre?” she asks with a laugh.

“I’m really excited to write again,” Sarty adds. “It’s exciting because we don’t know where it’s headed.”

Living Hour perform at The Northern on January 19 (Fernie), The Gateway on January 20 (Calgary), Sewing Machine Factory on January 21 (Edmonton), Bo’s on January 22 (Red Deer), and the West End Cultural Centre on January 27 as part of Big Fun Festival (Winnipeg). For more information on Living Hour, head to

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