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The musical project of Middlesbrough-based songwriter and composer James Wells, Black Hours is full of experimental instrumentation and beguiling vocals. Here, James tells us more about the project.

Who are you and where are you from? 

My name is James from Middlesbrough.  

What is it you do? 

I compose all the music and lyrics in Black Hours, structure arrangements and perform nearly all instrumentation on the recordings. Black Hours is essentially me and my producer, Jamie Donnelly, who works his studio magic on the ideas I bring to him. 
How long have you been doing it? 
This project only started in 2023 but in terms of writing and recording music I have been doing it since I was 14 and bafflingly, I am now 40.  
What inspires you? 

Musicians who are happy to refine and even reinvent their sound after every album. I love that nearly every album from Nick Cave, Miles Davis and David Bowie sound different. Having the courage to do exactly what you want creatively, regardless of audience expectations, is really inspiring to me.  
Tell us about your music
On the first recording session for the first Black Hours EP which came out in January, I was talking with my producer about what I wanted it to sound like. My first thought was Queens of the Stone Age mixed with Billie Holiday and I still think that accurately sums up what Black Hours is. Most tracks are built around a repetitive bassline and on top of that there will be riffs, melodies, and experimental instrumentation. TL;DR: Blues punctuated with heavier guitars and some bits of jazz thrown in there too.  

What have you got coming up in the future? 
The new single Next Best comes out on the 10th May. This has a similar vibe to the EP and is very much an extension of that sound. I am currently demoing and writing new material which is taking a slightly different stylistic tone, but it is more a variation on the Black Hours theme rather than a complete left turn.  

Where can people find out more about you? 

News and releases you can find at Bandcamp and you can stream the EP Burn The Boats Last on all usual streaming services.


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