# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Hearts Hearts - Young

  by Adrian Janes

published: 21 / 2 / 2016

Hearts Hearts - Young
Label: Tomlab
Format: CD


Fine debut album from Viennese band Hearts Hearts which definitely deserves a whirl

Though it has a youthful freshness, Hearts Hearts on this debut also show a striking maturity in their ability to successfully blend dance, classical and rock elements. This is less of a surprise when you consider that they’ve been working on it since 2013: clearly patience is a virtue with them. It’s also a musical value, for their strong sense of dynamics makes them unafraid to use pauses and near-silence (e.g. ’Potemkinsche Dörfer’, which exposes the upper range of vocalist David Österle but who meets the challenge on a song both reminiscent and worthy of Animal Collective), just as they can launch into nervily pulsing rhythms when needed. That same patience is also required of the listener, as the early tracks (‘The World Was My Oyster’, ‘Bent Pyramid’ and ‘I Am in’) all show promise in their blend of keyboards, strings and conventional and electronic percussion, but at the same time aren’t completely fulfilling, as if building towards something more. And Österle’s style, often recalling the plaintiveness of Thom Yorke, but also on occasion the languorousness of Ray Davies, is also something of an acquired taste - an Austrian singing in English, he slides and elides words together in such a way that they are more often emotionally than audibly understandable. It’s on ‘AAA’, the fourth track, that the change from its initial off-kilter rhythm to a decisive dance beat signals the moment when Hearts Hearts really start to make one’s own heart beat faster. Followed by the beautiful ‘Potemkinsche Dörfer’, the rest of the album continues on this upward trajectory. Perhaps the higher energy of tracks like ‘Blood Level’, with its urgent guitar line and agitated rhythm, and ‘Young’ itself, an immediately appealing, fast-paced mix of jittery synth and swirling electronics, is the explanation - elsewhere Österle can seem a little too languid, the music that bit too polite - but it’s only a partial one, as possibly the best song of all is the fascinatingly titled ‘Inner Market’. This is a touching, electric piano-based ballad during which Österle's singing approaches a Jeff Buckley-type purity, as he struggles to overcome a self-absorbed state of mind that sees people as there to be used rather than loved : “Despite my perfumed economy/There’s something good in me/Led to rise up in me/Something more intimate/Something compassionate/Don’t wanna evaluate.” ‘Hunter Limits’ is another fresh mix of the Hearts Hearts elements. It’s most noteworthy for Peter Paul Aufreiter’s subtle keyboards and Christina Ruf’s poignant cello, both of which are indeed strengths of the whole album, consistently imaginative and effective. Closer ‘If’ is a meditation on the risks of taking a chance (“I don’t see why we should take flight/And venture into an unknown night”), rippling keyboard and guitar combining to a mesmeric conclusion. Though to some extent its sheen of perfection betrays its long period of preparation, that’s not to say it lacks spirit; it’s just a thoughtful, melancholy one. There could be few bands with less in common with Billy Idol, but theirs is the real sound of “dancing with myself”, of dancing, alone. Take your time with this - ‘Young’ is an album with which to grow old.

Track Listing:-
1 The World Was My Oyster
2 Bent Pyramid
3 I Am In
5 Potemkinsche Dörfer
6 Blood Level
7 Young
8 Inner Market
9 Hunter Limits
10 If

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads


most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors