Hour is an instrumental ensemble fronted by Philadelphia’s Michael Cormier-O’Leary

"The latest release from Michael Cormier-O’Leary’s instrumental collective, Hour, is a deliberately paced work that’s peaceful and oddly disarming... There’s a DIY sensibility to this music, and a lot of it sounds very much cut from the same cloth as iconoclastic standard-bearers like Tortoise and Eiko Ishibashi." —PopMatters

"The closest analogues in the 'indie rock'-verse are 90s post-rock acts on labels like Thrill Jockey and Quarterstick (the bio for this album mentions Rachel’s, which feels right), but Ease the Work might be better thought of as straight-up chamber music or contemporary classical compositions as played by guitarists, cellists, violinists, clarinetists, drummers, and pianists from all sorts of backgrounds." —Rosy Overdrive

"loose and pastoral, with guitar, piano, and violin all wandering along at an unhurried pace" —Stereogum

"intricate neo-classical soundscapes" —WXPN


Formed in the flourishing underground of West Philadelphia in the latter half of the 2010s, Hour has fluctuated in size and scope around Cormier-O’Leary’s clear yet open-ended harmonic framework and ambitious ear. Ease the Work (out April 12 via Dear Life Records) builds on the bedrock of Hour’s first two records, Tiny Houses and Anemone Red, and represents the group at its most expansive in sound and membership.

To record Ease the Work, the crew traveled via ferry with an entire studio’s worth of equipment to an old off-Broadway theater on Peaks Island in Maine, months before the first tourists would show up. The week-long session started with an island-wide power outage that halted recording on the first day, and ended with twelve songs that walk steadily between longing and contentment, sentimentality and subtlety, the lift of harmony and the compulsion of a melody you wish would play forever.

Hour on tour: 
May 14 New York, NY - 6BC Botanical Garden w/ Thor & Friends, Miriam Elhaji
May 15 Catskill, NY - Avalon w/ Thor & Friends, Jessica Pavone String Ensemble
May 16 Worcester, MA - The Firehouse w/ Thor & Friends
May 17 Providence, RI - Lost Bag w/ Thor & Friends, tilt, Courtney Swain
May 18 Keene, NH – The Thing in the Spring
May 24 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
Jun 20 Littleton, NH – The Loading Dock
Jun 21 Eastport, ME – Eastport Arts Center
Jun 22 Fredericton, NB – Flourish Festival
Jun 23 Belfast, ME – Colonial Theater
Jun 24 Bar Harbor, ME – Lompoc Cafe
Jun 25 Bethel, ME – Gem Theater
Jun 26 Peaks Island, ME – Greenwood Garden
Jun 27 Montréal, QC – Quai des Brumes
Jun 28 Burlington, VT – tbd
Jun 29 Brattleboro, VT – Stone Church
Jun 30 Becket, MA – Dream Away Lodge
Oct 25 Philadelphia PA – Franklin Music Hall w/ Joe Pera (early & late shows)
Oct 26 Washington, DC – Lincoln Theater w/ Joe Pera (early & late shows)