Little Hours is the patient sheen of stillness after a short, violent burst of intention. The lingering, resonant decay of a nail being hammered into wood. A piano laden marriage of small hopes and quiet violence.
In Church Hill, a borough of Richmond, Virginia, there is a small yellow cottage. Next to the cottage is an austere replica of a mid-nineteenth century, white Federal period house. The members of Spokane hand built the structure over the course of 2006 while recording and revising their first new album in four years, Little Hours. The record is both a document of and an aural parallel to that difficult, meticulous process. In the emotional vein of folk singer Jackson C. Frank with the textural emaciation of composers Zbigniew Preisner and Morton Feldman, the songs themselves are hinged on concepts of failure and stillborn ideas, on the conflicted process of building or birthing a cerebral image into the world. There are the echoes of insistent cats running through the skeletal frame of the house, pillaged, infant birds in their mouths, left half-dead at the foot of the hole where the stair would be. The brutal gutting of the earth to build a foundation wall of concrete and brick, by sheer will and intent and arrogance. There is the crude muscling of lifted walls that block out the sun and obscure the trees. And the thought of future inhabitants, laughing and arguing and sitting, each alone, the ghosts of these songs wilting and remnant in the air. - UntitledTwo