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synthpop electronic british new wave seen live

    Manchester, UK electro-pop duo Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson. Formed in 2009, elegant and enigmatic HURTS have their sharp suits, slick hair and stark visuals. Theo and Adam present a striking contrast to the glow-in-the-dark pop stars who have run amok across the charts of late. Looking like they would rather be on the cover of Vogue Hommes than NME or Smash Hits, the pair resemble Tears For Fears as shot by Anton Corbijn. Hurts have recently released their first single "Better Than Love" and toured the UK and Europe during the summer of 2010.

    Before HURTS, singer Theo and synthesiser Adam were in bands Bureau and Daggers, the latter of which supported Gary Numan. However, on a trip to Italy, they discovered "disco-lento" (slow disco) and became fixed on a more austere, and stylish, European aesthetic and Hurts was born.

    Musically, they construct melancholic 1980s-inspired electro-pop with songs that they say are inspired by the British mentality of being "not too bad". "How are you doing? Not too bad. For a while you think that's not very interesting," Theo once said. "But it can be very interesting because it's on a knife-edge of hope and despair."

    In August of 2010, Hurts' debut full-length album, Happiness, debuted at number four on the U.K. albums chart, selling over 25,000 copies in its first week, making it the fastest selling album by a band in the U.K. that year. Featuring the singles "Better Than Love," "Wonderful Life," and "Stay," among others, the album was huge success across Europe and Hurts' profile rose exponentially. Several accolades followed in 2010 including topping the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll, winning a German BAMBI award, and garnering an MTV Europe Music Award nomination. The following year, Hurts earned more public support after a playing a high-profile slot at the Glastonbury Festival. The performance was well-received and was even voted best of the festival by NME readers. Also that year, the band headlined their first European tour which culminated with a concert at London's Brixton Academy with special guest Kylie Minogue.

    In December of 2012, in anticipation of the band's next album and in keeping with the band’s tradition of releasing stylish, immaculately directed videos, Hurts released a long-form promotional video for the song "The Road," which itself was inspired by Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name and J.G. Ballard's novel Crash. Hurts followed up in 2013 by releasing their sophomore album, Exile. Featuring production from Hutchcraft and Anderson, along with Quant and Dan Grech-Marguerat, Exile showcased a nuanced, somewhat more contemporary sound that incorporated more orchestral and rock instrumentation, yet retained all of Hurts' core new wave and Krautrock influences.

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