The Talking Hours are in it for the music - Albuquerque Journal

The Talking Hours are in it for the music

From left, Mauricio and Karie Paez make up The Talking Hours, an alternative rock duo based in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of The Talking Hours)

The Talking Hours is in it for the love of making music.

Mauricio and Karie Paez formed the Albuquerque-based alternative rock duo in 2015, and have become a solid act in the city’s music scene.

The Talking Hours wasn’t their first band, however. They started the group Beard with a co-worker in 2012, but the difficulty of navigating a schedule to tour eventually pushed the couple in a different direction.

Mauricio Paez explained, “We thought it would be really easy for us if we had just a two-piece to do what we wanted to do, to be able to play whatever shows we wanted and tour whenever we wanted.”

Since both were guitarists, Mauricio decided to gift Karie a drum set, which she happily started playing.

With experience in multiple instruments and performing, and a broad range of musical influences that span decades and genres, the duo began crafting their sound. The Talking Hours blends alternative rock with electronica to provide an invigorating dark element to their writing.

“Over the years we’ve incorporated electronics and samples much more than we did in the beginning. I feel like that’s even become more of a backbone of our writing,” Karie Paez said.

Synthesizers have helped musicians evolve their sound over time, and the couple use these elements as a base to produce many of their songs. The duo’s style appears to take what other artists may consider a short interlude between tracks and extends the beat into a full original song with traditional rock instrumental layered on top.

Karie Paez explained, “Starting with a sample idea, a synth idea … Mo will show me that and then we’ll get together and practice and kind of start working off that map.”

After the music is cut, the lyrics are then added.

“Lyrics are always last,” Mauricio Paez said. “It always comes from the instrumental; the lyrics are inspired from the music for us.”

The Talking Hours released its first EP in 2016, and have since put out two full-length albums in 2017 and 2020. The duo’s latest single “Is It Love” was released in February. Mauricio Paez said that they plan to release another album early next year.

He added that they plan to perform new material at upcoming live shows.

“They’ll be two new songs that … we’ve been tinkering with and will start throwing into the live rotation,” he said. “It’s all about playing live for us.”

The band takes notice of the local fans who come back and watch them perform, and it aims to provide audiences not only with quality tracks, but a great show as well.

“We’ve definitely had some continuous support,” Karie Paez said. “We’re very blessed by that.”

No matter the following, The Talking Hours are here to rock out with fellow music lovers.

“We’re not here to be the next superstar on the planet,” Mauricio Paez said. “We just want to play music and write music and we’ll dish it out.”

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