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‘painting with an open heart’
by Hangover Square
released 6 june 2021
Emerging from the ‘colourful’ darkness of a year spent mostly on lockdown, Bristol-based musicians Victoria Bourne and Chris Harper released the results of what kept them sane. A truly collaborative folk-rock project by two isolated people thinking way bigger than their one-bedroom basement flat, sounding at times like a 40 piece ensemble. ‘Painting with an Open Heart’ is an expansive, lushly arranged mini-epic giving voice to the ghosts of a life lost.
Virtually everything on the album was recorded at home however the magic of the internet enabled them to team up with producer Mat Sampson (Bink Bonk Studios, Bristol) and drummer Andy Edwards (Robert Plant, IQ, and Quill) both of whom were happy to work remotely. Hangover Square is essentially a duo but with added backing vocals galore, overdubbed guitars, organs, pianos, and synth sounds and with the modern magic of midi to include orchestral instruments they have turned this locked down duo into a grand ensemble.
Sitting indoors trying to process one global existential crisis after another, battling suicidal thoughts, and confronting who and what they are as artists, ‘Painting with an Open Heart’ is Hangover Square’s exploration of their creativity when creativity was all they had left.
Praise for Hangover Square and 'Painting With an Open Heart'
“…this is hugely accomplished…an impressive calling card…a hangover most definitely worth nursing…”
“…masterfully created, ambitious piece of work…the string arrangements shimmer over the tracks like sunbeams breaking through a clouded sky and the vocal harmonies are carefully crafted throughout…delicate vocal harmonies floating over a velvet wash of sound…Iridescent, cinematic and rich in texture…”
“…harmonic ingenuity and rhythmic resilience…the record sounds contemporary. We were pleasantly surprised, we are a fan…now you…! – Keys and Chords
‘Painting With An Open Heart is like a balm for the soul. Bourne shows what an excellent singer she is. The production here is excellent, the song is superb, it is very soul and heart, but also dark and gloomy, yes almost a little scary sometimes, so do not expect any pink cotton clouds. But even black can offer beauty and it shows Hangover Square with all the desired clarity” Zero Magazine
‘Victoria’s voice has a classical purity and laser clarity creating poetic structures that have only to be felt to be understood..City Slumber breathes dreams in slow poised duo harmonies that build into a scorching guitar solo’ ….
‘There’s dialogue with the dead, through an atmospheric ambience of bells and birdsong in immaculate taste, where words are pictures in smoke, within a soundtrack for your inner eye’ RnR Magazine
“An upbeat and brilliant track” BBC Upload Adam Crowther
‘a beautiful, sublime well-orchestrated and performed, deep and profound piece of music’
Pure West Radio, BB Skone’s Pembrokeshire Music Show, Malcolm Cawley
“Splendid Album” Resonance FM, Balling The Jack, Joe Cushley