Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dead Heart Bloom Ride Strange Waves

Dead Heart Bloom are not as depressing as their name might indicate. Oh no, this band instead, creates dreamy pop that's ethereal, quiet, and pretty darn decent. Their latest effort, Strange Waves is an atmospheric pop record that at times will remind you of Simon and Garfunkel as much as it does waking up from a dream. How this group manage to take two kind of diametrically opposed genres and make them work is beyond me but they do an OK job of eeking by.

Strange Waves is an interesting record that doesn't necessarily make an impact the first time you listen to it. This is a record whose charms are not revealed instantaneously but instead reveal themselves from the haze one layer, one song, at a time. Dead Heart Bloom are the kind of band that wear down your resistance rather than club you over the head with pop hooks. Whether or not you can tolerate this kind of record all comes down to personal taste. That being said, there are a few yawn inducing moments on Strange Waves where their secret love of folk music take over, runs to the front of the record and they get a little too lost in it.

I like bits and bobs of Strange Waves but I'm not convinced it's a great record. When they mix things up and actually create a subtle racket or at least sound as though they have a heartbeat, Dead Heart Bloom are at their best. "Someday Will Not Come Again," and "Sentimental Cures," are perfect examples of this band with a steady pace and songs that seem to go somewhere. Unfortunately, as a whole the album starts to wear thin midway through and gets boring simply because every song is the same pace and just about sounds like the same dusty Byrdsian folk record on repeat. I tried to enjoy this but it's like listening to a bit too much Garfunkel on repeat and then falling asleep...and that's pretty much what happened to me. In fact, it's kind of happening again. Nap time.

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