Premiere: “Monochrome Dreams” by The Blue Hours

The S.F. duo crafts a haunting tune about our changing city.

It’s no secret that S.F. is in a time of flux. Rents are escalating, newcomers are flooding the city, and old-timers are leaving in droves.

Experimental pop duo The Blue Hours captures these changes in their new single, “Monochrome Dreams,” the titular track off their debut album of the same name. In the brooding, slow-burning song, vocalist Theresa Calpotura reflects about the many creatives that are abandoning S.F., cooing lines like, “One by one they walk away / to the land across the Bay.”

“‘Monochrome Dreams’ was inspired by witnessing a lot of the change happening in and around San Francisco, particularly for artists and musicians,” Calpotura says. It’s about “the daily struggle to incorporate art and creativity into working life.”

Filled with a buzzy bass backbone from Matthew Washburn and recurring vocal samples from a Filipino rice-pounding folk song called “Mambayu,” “Monochrome Dreams” is both hauntingly captivating and slightly melancholy. The Tiny Telephone-recorded tune amps up toward the end, with spoken word poetry inspired by Rimbaud and cinematic synths added to the soundscape, as Calpotura concludes her dirge on a mournful note.

The song’s accompanying music video is filled with scenes from around San Francisco taken over the last 12 months of various neighborhoods, homeless encampments, construction sites, street murals, and BART. Bay Area artist Monty Lumba appears throughout the video, as well, as he completes a painting of the Bay Bridge and North Beach skyline. Washburn filmed the video and he and Calpotura edited it.

Stay tuned for more news about The Blue Hours.

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