Thursday, July 22, 2021

Hectorine - Tears

Art pop? Space folk? Soft Rock? Perhaps all of the foregoing and maybe some others as well -- that is Tears by Hectorine. But assigning a genre isn't really necessary (and in this case, makes me feel a bit stupid). What is important is that this album is filled with beautiful music, from start to finish. Dynamic melancholy pop can always find a welcome reception in my ears, these songs have it.

Hectorine was founded by San Francisco musician Sarah Gagnon and joined by Max Shanley, Matt Carney, Betsy Gan and Laura Adkins. Gagnon possesses a commanding an expressive lower-register voice reminiscent of Nico, although with with far greater range and ability. But it is her songcraft that most impresses me. Her lyrics are incisive and searching, not ignoring heartache but also declining to wallow in it. Her melodies are varied and highly pleasing and the arrangements are richly adorned by the band. I found the album when looking for something else, and tried it on a whim. Now I play it regularly. It is that satisfying.

Tears is out now via Paisley Shirt Records.

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