Photography and film people will recognize the inspiration behind The Golden Hour‘s name. According to singer Ashley Buck:
“The golden hour” is a photography term that refers to the first and last hour of the day when lighting is softer and warmer in hue. During these magical hours each day shadows appear longer. As an artist, I felt this name embodies the idea of the music that we try to create. We try to set moods and exaggerate figures.
The name is an apt one. The Lincoln, NE band marries radiant melodies with dusky folk undercurrents, creating something that is at once light-sprited and heavy-hearted.
You can experience the paradoxical beauty in person on February 3, when The Golden Hour play a show at the Park Gallery. San Diego’s own Normandie Wilson will be on hand, as will LA’s Sofa City Sweetheart, whose self-titled 5-song EP we highly recommend you give a listen.
In anticipation of the show, Buck provided us with a list of her influences. You can read her Poetic Memory list below.
The Golden Hour Poetic Memory
1. Oldies: When I was a kid my best friend, Allison Hurdle, and I used to set our radio alarm clocks to the same time so that we could wake up to oldies and dance around. We were so excited about doing the same exact thing at the same time in different places. After awhile, growing up and building very separate lives, we stopped the tradition, but I am still grooving to The Beach Boys and Elvis. Love me that 50s pop and soul.
2. Independent art films: Spending my teenage years at the Arts and Humanities Focus School definitely expanded my senses and ideas about expression through art. While there dabbling in painting, writing, and photography I discovered art films: The Tiger and the Snow with the enchanting dream of Tom Waits’ wedding serenade, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly each frame so carefully drawn up it could bring you to tears, and of course everything Pedro Almodóvar betting me I couldn’t conjure up a more imaginative story. I think film is the ultimate art form. It moves me to create songs with more visual elements and affects the way I think of story lines.
3. Human behavior: People-watching can be an exhilarating experience, especially because every person has a different interpretation of every situation. Seeing life from all these different angles and just trying to figure out the why, when, where, and who of experiences, even everyday ones, are great resources to my songwriting.
4. Husband Joe: Being married to another songwriter forces me to explain myself and edit.
5. Keyboarding class: I have taken voice lessons my whole life. These lessons introduced me to classical works and composers that were supposed to help me master techniques. When I went to UNL in 2006 to study vocal music, I had to learn the piano as part of my degree program. After a few months of tinkering I had an epiphany: “I can make my own songs!” My first songs where based off little finger patterns and hand positions I learned in class. If I hadn’t learned to play the piano, I’d still be a song interpreter instead of a songwriter.
6. Girly jams: Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Regina Spektor, My Brightest Diamond, Jenny Lewis, Norah Jones, Vashti Bunyan, Billy Holiday…all those ladies know how to write it down and break it down.
7. Everyday mishaps and memorable moments: Just like country break-up songwriters and the metal screamer, I use songwriting to help me make sense of emotionally charged experiences in my life.
8. Open mics: Open mics are awesome. They allow you to meet musicians at all levels of the spectrum and people who will readily give you their opinion about your music. I first began playing my originals at coffee shop and bar open mics. Practicing in these low key settings gave me the courage to keep performing in front of others.
9. Jazz: Joe loves jazz, so we are always listening to the newest thing he’s found: melodies, styles, and phrasing of the masters. I’m learning.
10. Silence: I don’t know if I feel a need to fill the silence or if it’s just that I feel incredibly liberated when I am alone. I always write when I am alone. I’m a sucker for solitude. I enjoy writing with others, but it can be such a long process. Whenever I have the house to myself I am writing and singing. In these times, songwriting is like meditation: soothing and rejuvenating me.
The Golden Hour tour dates
1/19/12 Lincoln, NE @ The ZOO Bar with Floating Opera and Love Technicians
1/20/12 Omaha NE @ Side Door Lounge with Platte River Rain, Flying Kards, Edge Of Arbor, Silvercord
1/21/12 Denver, CO @ Shaky Molars’ House with Abi Robins, Sedges Have Edges, Jennifer Leigh
1/22/12 Boulder, CO @ The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse
1/23/12 Salt Lake City, UT @ Piper Down
1/24/12 Boise, ID @ Tom Grainey’s
1/25/12 Moscow, ID @ Camas Prairie Winery with local Jeremiah Akin
1/26/12 Olympia, WA @ The Guest House with New Slang and James and the Express
1/27/12 Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur with Dragon Lee, Meowtain
1/28/12 Bothell, WA @ The Lyons’ Den
1/29/12 Bellingham, WA @ The Cabin with Jenna Freeman, Cassiopeia
1/30/12 Portland, OR @ Ella Street Social Club with Jobo Shankins
1/31/12 Eureka, CA @ Red Fox Tavern
2/1/12 Sacramento CA @ Fox and Goose Pub
2/2/12. Los Angeles, CA @ Redwood Bar and Grill with Sofa City Sweetheart
2/3/12 San Diego, CA @ The Park Gallery with Blue Still and Sofa City Sweetheart
2/4/12 Las Vegas, NV @ Meathead’s Bar
2/5/12 Tempe, AZ.@ Holy Cow Show Haus with Young Mothers, Sweet the Sound, The DanDan Noodles, Some Magic Animal, Shane Hunt
2/6/12 Alburqurque, NM @ Winning Coffee with Willy J and the storytellers
2/8/12 San Antonio TX @ G.I.G. with Poisen Oak
2/9/12 Houston, TX @ Bohemeo’s with “Art Institute” and “Jealous Creatures”
2/10/12 Denton, TX @ Simone Lounge with Daniel Ceske, Western Skies, Warren Jackson Hearne
2/11/12 Conway, Arkansas @ 8pm
2/12/12 Kansas City, MO @ House Venue