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Album Review: HAERTS; Hemiplegia EP

 

I’ve been meaning to do an album review of this wonderful band for awhile now. Finally, here it is! Meet HAERTS, Brooklyn-based quintet that is made up of members who hail from Germany, the UK and the US in an assorted United Nations/United Colors of Benetton style. Nini Fabi – vocals, Ben Gebert – keyboard, Garrett Ienner – guitar, Derek McWilliams – bass, and Jonathan Schmidt – drummer.

 

The band put out their EP Hemiplegia – total or partial paralysis of one side of the body – back in October of 2013. A very interesting title for a debut EP, but my guess is that it could have something to do with the effect that this bands music has on your body. With St. Lucia at the helm of this album, there’s no doubt that it’s heavily 80’s synth pop influenced, which is definitely not a bad thing. It’s cinematic in the sense that it often sounds larger than life, like it could be on the soundtrack of some awesome (probably cheesy though) 80s drama, but it never loses it’s directness and familiarity. Soundwise, we’re talkin’ airiness, but with subtly dense layers, infectious hooks, sweet funky bass lines, and plaintive, earnest vocals – earnest to the point of being slightly melodramatic, as the EP deals with love gained, love lost, and other exemplary pop themes.

 

The EP has four tracks:

  1. Hemiplegia
  2. Wings
  3. All For You
  4. All The Days

Out of these four, I would say my favourite right now is Hemiplegia.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/113750518″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

This track definitely shines amongst the rest of the EP – with the exception of “Wings” – the showstopper track of the album.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/62917975″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

But, back to “Hemiplegia”…. ;) Amongst a sea of same-old indie bands, HAERTS keeps it fresh. Fabi’s vocals are revitalizing. The smoothness of her voice skates over the vivacious pulse of the song, which eventually succumbs into a euphoric clash of sprightly indie-pop. The bands open-minded approach to craft, as they’ve mentioned their musical project being like a “blank canvas” onto which they’ve thrown ideas on, are seen quite vividly on this track with the repeated lyrics, “No, you can’t move up with your eyes down,”, a great little build-up in the song.

 

Overall, this EP has quite an impressive set of songs. All the more considering it’s the debut EP of this Brooklyn band. Fabi and Gebert wrote most of the tracks together and seriously have an excellent ear for strong, infectious melodies. I have high hopes for this band and cannot wait to see what they put out for their full-length album!

 

More of HAERTS:

Twitter: @haertsmusic

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/haertsmusic

Tumblr: http://haertsmusic.tumblr.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HAERTSMUSIC