Faith finds Hurts on their fifth album in a decade, and they’re still intent on exploring ’80s influences. Their habit of throwing choice pop cuts into the mix alongside a slight dash of slightly depressed goth seasoning shows no sign of letting up, which should please those who want to know exactly what to expect. One glance of the cover of Faith is enough to know exactly where Hurts are as a band in 2020.
The fifth studio album by British duo Hurts, 2020's Faith is a dusky, slow-burn album that finds singer Theo Hutchcraft and instrumentalist Adam Anderson in a sanguine mood, taking their time to craft measured anthems, rife with an early-'90-inspired goth and industrial production. Having started their career evoking the monochrome intensity of groups like Depeche Mode and New Order, Hurts quickly expanded their approach, embracing an ever more pop-oriented sound, dipping into contemporary R&B, '70s-style disco, and dance music. Produced by Hurts along with Martin Forslund and Joe Janiak, Faith is less upbeat than 2017's Desire and feels closer to their 2010 debut, albeit with a more organic, less claustrophobic aesthetic.
Hurts have always been a curious proposition to pin down. Enormous across Europe while slightly struggling to replicate that success here in the UK, the Manchester duo have quietly built a catalogue that is heavy on emotion and bombast, re-tooling the electronic pop template to their own desires. New album 'Faith' - their fourth to date, and first since 2017's full length 'Desire' - affords the pair space to quietly overhaul their sound, introducing fresh elements while remaining faithful to the gothic textures that have brought them such continental success.