Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blue Skies For Black Hearts

Portland based Blue Skies For Black Hearts are about 1,000 miles too far north from where they belong. This West Coast pop band sound like a fantastic amalgamation between The Tyde, Teenage Fan Club, The Kinks and the California coastline. Their album, Embracing The Modern Age is a sunshine drenched record packed to the rafters with melodies so sweet they sound like sugar and stick like it as well. With loads of jangly guitars, harmonies rebounding off one another, and hints of power pop, Blue Skies clearly have their heads around what makes a great rock and roll band. These guys are good and we should all be glad they are Embracing The Modern Age.

Somewhere just shy of being a garage rock back, just north of being mod revival, and south of full on power pop, Blue Skies are the happy medium between them all. No other band today, so easily combines, brill building pop, 80's riffs, soulful vocals, and Scottish pop via California like these guys do. They so effectively navigate between influences that it's just about impossible to hold them still and from shifting directions. Embracing The Modern Age is a fantastic record because it's so rooted in the past but as the title suggests, wants to be completely up to the minute.

Blue Skies For Black Hearts are great at what they do and whatever decade they chose reside in, they would be a success. With a superior pop sensibility and the songs to match Blue Skies bring it all home via the Pacific Coast Highway and spread the sunshine everywhere. Embracing The Modern Age does just that but not without first a lovingly awesome detour with the previous age. For anyone who has ever worn a skinny tie and Wayfarer's this is a record you need in your life.

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