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1 review »I've not heard this band before, just picked this one out of the review box on the strength of its art, which is proper '70s-style psychedelia like I've not seen in a while. Turns out it's actually pretty great, so that's a nice surprise. These guys play drifty falsetto-voiced psychedelic pop, kind of like a much more polished Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, maybe? I don't know...it's reminding me ... »

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REVIEWS

Strange Hearts by Secret Cities
1 review. Add your own review.
9 people love this record. Be the 10th!
8/10 Mike Staff review, 09 June 2011

I've not heard this band before, just picked this one out of the review box on the strength of its art, which is proper '70s-style psychedelia like I've not seen in a while. Turns out it's actually pretty great, so that's a nice surprise. These guys play drifty falsetto-voiced psychedelic pop, kind of like a much more polished Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, maybe? I don't know...it's reminding me of all sorts of disparate things...Beach Boys (from what I gather their first album was Brian Wilson-themed but I've never heard it so I won't pretend to know any more than that), Menomena, Belle and Sebastian, Candy Claws...it's all very palatable, though. Definitely got that B&S thing going on where there are moments which are a little bit syrupy and twee (song titles include 'Always Friends', 'Ice Cream Scene' and 'Forest of Love') but tempered by a spooky touch or two. The recording has a real Spector-esque quality to it with reverb-laden tambourines and stuff. This is more sophisticated than a lot of the '60s revivalism that's been going on lately. I'm totally charmed by it really. They do that thing Abe Vigoda do where they have some really cheesy tropical thing going on and then they'll pair it with something quite jarring and unexpected to make these queasy little shuffles. The cinematic take on the pop formula isn't a million miles away from that new Mini Mansions LP in reviewed last week, but this one's pushing my buttons much more than that one did. It's full of detail and ideas that'll survive repeated listens, and there's a real joy and enthusiasm that's gone into making this. 'Brief Encounter' has a whistling section, and then some trumpet. A fine slab of slick but awkward pop music.




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