Preaching From the Pews: The Hall Of Mirrors

HOM TLThe Hall Of Mirrors are one of the best bands I’ve heard in years, crafting pop of extremely high calibre. They first came to my attention in March and I was lucky enough to see them play, with one of many in their ever-changing line-ups (all based around singer/pianist/songwriter Jessica Spencer), at a Penny Black Music night. I described their performance on my blog as, “Simply a pop dream. In fact, the music seems to me like it comes to you as if it’s breaking through a dream, wrapping one in warm harmonic ecstasies, and when the song ends, leaves you in that lush half-waking dreamspace that you long to sink back into but aren’t quite sure whence it had come.

I caught them again a few weeks ago, now with a more stable line-up, and was even more impressed by their beautiful songs.  And they ended the set with a brilliant rendition of I Wanna Be Your Dog. Check out Jess performing it here. And
here’s a great cover of Donovan’s “Wear You Love Like Heaven“.

Perhaps Donovan gives you a better idea of The Hall Of Mirrors’ own sound but I find all comparisons (a momentarily Saint Etienne-esque chord change, a glimpse of a 60s Rolling Stones at-their-poppiest melody) rendered void by Jess’ distinctive voice.  And seeing her live, it’s hard to believe such an enormous, not to mention expressive, sound could come out of such a doll-like figure. One appreciates her sense of style as well, seen in the videos –  the airy psychedelic popswirl of “Love Obscure” ,  floating in the spacey chimes of “Silverstream“,  the delicious melancholy of “Say Goodbye“, and the gorgeous elegant lament “Love Child”:


Love Child  was released yesterday as a free download here.   The latest in a series of free ‘Monday Melody’s,  after Say Goodbye, and the joyous pop perfections of “Springtime” and “Transparent Love“.  

Working now on their debut album, which, if these songs and their live show is any indication, promises to be superb. Like all the best music, The Hall of Mirrors are both familiar, in a way you can’t quite place, and strange in that they create a world all their own.  I highly recommend diving in, for these are huge expanses of wondrous POPspace in which to spend plenty of time swimming about or lounging around.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.