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Friday, 22 March 2013 |
Melbourne based solo artist, Harts, has released his debut EP to a host of critical acclaim. Offtime has generated a buzz within the music industry that is usually reserved for debut full-length releases but after just one listen it’s clearly justified. Riding the popularity wave of neo-electro/indie-pop and reportedly being mixed by Lars Stalfors of the Mars Volta has no doubt boosted Harts’ public rep. But all that aside, this guy is a freakishly good musician and songwriter. If you’ve never heard of Harts before think Strange Talk crossed with the attitude and confidence that ‘80s-synth bands carried in spades.
The album kicks off with ‘The Music’, which is a really nice opener and a good summation of what to expect throughout the EP. Falsetto vocals overlayed with solid drum machine beats and a whaling guitar solo thrown in for good measure. ‘Back To The Shore’ keeps the same feel going but doesn’t rely so heavily on the ‘80s tried and tested methods.
The entire release feels really familiar, which is a testament to his song writing ability. The arrangements aren’t smashing any moulds but they are done so well and are so easy to listen to that you can’t help but enjoy them even if electro music isn’t your thing.
Track three ‘All Too Real’ is already proving popular on Triple J and it’s not hard to see why. The chorus will be stuck in your head after one listen and once again the arrangements are ridiculously good. For me track four ‘Vampire’ is the highlight of the album. The track combines Michael Jackson-esque vocal yelps with a solid melodic bass line and shows how modern day electronic music is drawing on the best bits of the past three decades. Closing and title track ‘Offtime’ is Jamiroquai-esque and, along with the rest of this release, will no doubt be a popular dance floor hit.
You have to wonder how mastermind and creator Darren Hart is going to pull this sound off live and if it will maintain its impact with just one musical genius onstage and presumably a stack of computers. But that aside this is definitely worth a listen and if the ‘80s weren’t or aren’t your thing, have a listen anyway. I challenge you to not enjoy it. 8/10.
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