New music: Hurts – Miracle

The Manchester duo are back with a complicated publicity stunt involving dry cleaners and tape recorders. Oh, and a new song

Reading on mobile? Watch here

Rather than just chuck a "buzz track" online to promote their forthcoming second album Exile (although they did that, too), doom-pop merchants Hurts decided to utilise the oft-ignored tactic of the local dry cleaners as a way of announcing their return. First they posted out old tape recorders to various journalists with a note telling them to await further instructions. Then a letter arrived from Russia made up of old Hurts lyrics stitched together to make a love letter of sorts. Included with the letter was a dry-cleaning receipt, fully paid, which the recipient had to exchange for a black dinner jacket emblazoned with their new logo on the lapel. In the jacket pocket was a gold tape that included bits of songs from the new album. Beat that, Rihanna, with your plane full of exhausted journalists!

Still, no amount of promotional tomfoolery can disguise the fact that Miracle – the first single proper – sounds a lot like Coldplay's Princess of China, all stadium-size "woah, woah, woahs". But while they added some sweetness to the mix with a Rihanna guest vocal, Miracle luxuriates in its stylish melancholia as singer Theo throws out lines such as "the light will never shine on this heart of mine" over a Depeche Mode-esque backdrop of stadium guitars and synths. For the video, the pair roam around a disused shopping centre looking mean and moody as various gothic emblems (a massive crow, a straitjacket, some burning totems) interrupt their sadness.

Exile is released on 11 March.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

New music: SuperHeavy – Miracle Worker

Michael Cragg: Can this supergroup featuring Mick Jagger and Joss Stone buck the trend and be more than the sum of its parts?

Michael Cragg

12, Aug, 2011 @2:31 PM

Article image
Hurts: Exile – exclusive album stream

Soaring choruses, high-octane 80s emoting – have a listen to the second Hurts album and tell us what you think

08, Mar, 2013 @12:59 PM

Article image
From Hurts to Squarepusher: The Week in Music - in pictures

From Paris to Penang to the Pacific northwest! From the Misfits to Murs and from Bo Ningen to BRMC! It could only be The Week in Music – in pictures!

05, Apr, 2013 @4:33 PM

Hurts | Pop review
Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
Much of Hurts' live set suggests a whistle-stop version of the annual 1980s revival Here and Now tour, with tracks evoking Tears for Fears, ABC and Erasure, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

10, Oct, 2010 @9:16 PM

Hurts: Exile – review
Hurts' second album sees the synthpop stylists desperately short of material, says Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby

10, Mar, 2013 @12:05 AM

Hurts – review

The new album, Exile, so precisely recreates the New Romantic era that it's almost parodical. Hurts, though, aren't laughing, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

10, Feb, 2013 @6:30 PM

Article image
Hurts – review

Mark Beaumont: Hurts may have their moments, but Theo Hutchcraft's cheesy chart vocals make them every bit as painful as their name suggests

Mark Beaumont

28, Oct, 2013 @6:41 PM

Article image
Hurts: Happiness | CD review
Hurts have the backstory and the image down pat, but the songs just don't stick, says Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

02, Sep, 2010 @2:29 PM

Article image
New music: Field Music – Heart

Michael Cragg: Hear Pet Shop Boys reinvented by the Brewis brothers

Michael Cragg

12, Apr, 2012 @2:25 PM

Article image
Babyshambles – Fireman: New music

Babyshambles are back following Doherty's brief acting sojourn. The album's riotous opening track is full of garbled vocals and a right good melodic thrashing

Michael Cragg

20, Aug, 2013 @6:01 AM