Thursday, June 29, 2017

Kane Strang - Two Hearts and No Brain

We have long harbored high expectations for Kane Strang.  The young Dunedin musician's debut LP, Blue Cheese, impressed us enough that we covered it twice -- upon its initial release and when it was re-released.  So we won't pretend to be surprised at the quality of Two Hearts and No Brain, his new album for Dead Oceans.  We are, however, even more impressed that we expected.  Building on his strength as a songwriter, and matching his droll wit and observational skills with a deadpan delivery, it seems to us that Strang has grabbed '60s psychedelic pop melody by the scruff of the neck and lovingly given it an infusion of '90s indie rock  -- all sharp edges and guitar notes with a hint of anger and danger -- and dressed it up in sensibilities for the current decade.  And it all works because the execution is so good, with the muscular guitar-oriented arrangements providing an apt platform for the musings of a young man in 2017.

Of course, all that makes for a good listen, but we also think this is an album that has staying power.  The hooks and melodies will please your ears for as long as you play the album.  Moreover, Strang has the ability to craft songs that each stand apart as concise anthem, albeit and inward looking anthem.  In fact, the ability to cast his and the listeners' gaze inward may be one of the best long-term attributes among many for Two Hearts and No Brain.

Bandcamp for Two Hearts and No Brain


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