“The Kindest Hour” will appear right at the halfway mark on Big Sir’s upcoming 11-track album, Before Gardens After Gardens, which makes me think it could be an important transitional song. Singer/composer Lisa Papineau (Air, M83) and bassist/composer Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta, Racer X) create this pretty, eerie (also pretty eerie) tune with help from Heather Lockie and her moody viola playing, which is contrasted by Alderete’s smooth, clean bass.
Although subdued, Papineau’s melodic singing is of major note here, as it adds dimension to her partner’s muscle and, overall, fills out the otherwise sparse music. The voice and the instrument meet up here and there, eventually creating a watershed of sound that boils over as if you turned the stove off a second too late. The result is something like a cathartic overflow of warmth–thanks, in part, to the blanketing organ–ultimately faced with an icy wash of male-female vocals. “Hour,” which you can stream below, is a compelling audio embodiment of feelings that could be as strongly expressed visually as they are here. Big Sir’s Before Gardens After Gardens will be available Feb. 7 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions/Sargent House.