Desire is the impressive fourth record from Mancunian duo Hurts, who met outside a nightclub as their friends brawled in the background. A shared love of music brought together Theo Hutchcraft & Adam Anderson, who are still perfectly in tune with one another some 8 years later.
The album opens with lead single Beautiful Ones, a knock-out pop tune questioning why people care so deeply about the gender expression of others. The queer undercurrents rise and fall much like a voyage of self discovery can, giving life and emotions to the nameless beautiful people the song is named after. Ready To Go is a certain highlight, the twirling beats work well against Theo Hutchcraft’s more playful vocal. Teasing and taunting a death by going out with a glitter covered bang.
Sombre chords open Something I Need To Know, a break up banger for those in need of one. Hutch craft’s voice is capable of transforming heartbreak into stunning vocal delivery, which provides a warm comfort at times of trouble. How wonderful it is in 2017 to have a male fronted band channelling both Prince and George Michael on one track; Boyfriend being that very song. Try not to groove too heavily in public to this one, although it’s proving increasingly difficult to resist the smooth disco touches.
To close such a wonderful record, it’s only fitting the final track be called Magnificent. Whilst Desire proves once again how Hurts can juxtapose upbeat pop with less jovial tunes, what they do best is uplifting heartbreak. The sincerity and honesty remain light and airy, and convey troubled relationships without the doom and gloom you might expect.
Desire is a colourful exploration of gender performed through a more mainstream lens, masculinity is deconstructed to reveal that in the end as long as you remain true to yourself; you’re doing something right. Hurts are one of the most underrated bands in the world, consistently making records that challenge stereotypes and encourage those who have felt alienated by others.