Woman's Hour Guitarist Talks 'Conversations' Album & The xx Comparisons

Photo: Oliver Chanarin
Woman's Hour

With an airtight dream-pop aesthetic and a handful of gorgeous visuals attached to debut album "Conversations," London four-piece Woman's Hour is slowly making its presence felt in the States. Their swooning sound has garnered comparisons to the xx -- an understandable parallel, guitarist William Burgess tells Billboard.

"I totally see why people would make that comparison," says Burgess, whose sister Fiona Burgess fronts Woman's Hour. "The xx are a very important band to England, and they make it okay to do more sparse things. We certainly don't sit in the studio and thinking, 'What would the xx do right now?' But I can see why people make comparisons."

Woman's Hour formed in 2010 when the Burgess twins met up in London and started messing around with vocals and a guitar. Bassist Nicolas Graves hopped aboard, and keyboardist Josh Hunnisett would bring "two big sacks full of synths" down from Cambridge twice a week to practice with the group, according to Burgess. Playing small gigs and releasing a debut single at the end of 2011, Woman's Hour decided that they needed further polishing, and holed up with producer Tom Morris to figure out what they wanted their music to say before heading back on the road.

Zola Jesus Returns With Pop Ambitions: Interview

"We realized we weren't ready to be putting too much music out there, and… ducked our heads down for almost a year and wrote tons of songs," explains Burgess. "I think our music sounds a lot more honest and more like us now. We were almost afraid of slowing things down -- when you're not taking something seriously, you tend to just make it quick. Stylistically, it's gone away from guitars and upbeat stuff, to something more mellow and dense."

Woman's Hour signed to Secretly Canadian in North America at the top of 2014, and has spent the year previewing "Conversations," due out July 15, with performances at South By Southwest and support dates for artists like Metronomy in Europe. Meanwhile, the band has been crafting a monochrome visual style with the help of artists like Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin -- watch the striking video for "Her Ghost" below:

With a slew of European festival dates coming up, including the Latitude Festival on July 20 and Isle of Wright on Sept. 4, Woman's Hour will bring a more honed version of its live show back to the U.S. on a fall tour that begins on Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C. "We can't wait to come back in the fall," says Burgess. "The live shows have been incredible, and have made us a much more resilient band."


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.