Friday, September 5, 2008

New Favourite Band: Their Hearts Were Full of Spring

I think I came to the realization a few months ago that the way I listen to music has changed completely. Gone are the days when new music trickled in every few months. I've got a turn around rate you wouldn't believe, yet I still get the distinct feeling that I'm missing something. It's a strange place to be because I've learned to immerse myself in an album or band and crank out a review/post in a week's time. Sure, it's a good skill, but it also means that so much is coming in, I hardly have time to dwell on anything long term, the way I used to when new music was harder to come by. I don't know if it's just my situation or maybe I just haven't heard anything in a while that has made a major impact.

That said, I've hit a bit of a break in the pattern-- thankfully. About a month ago, I came across the name of a band from the U.K. and followed a link to the MySpace of Their Hearts Were Full of Spring. Honestly, I was curious to see who dared take the name of a Four Freshmen song, notably covered by the Beach Boys, for their own. Of all the bands I've discovered in the past few months, THWFOS has had the greatest impact. I'm disinclined to bestow too many blessings, as I have said before, so I sat on this post for weeks to test how long they'd last on rotation. Not getting on my soap box has been the frustrating part. They're the kind of band that begs to be shared with everyone you know and I have certainly done my best to spread the word.

At this point I should probably tell you a bit why I think they're so great. There is something intrinsically positive about their music. I don't mean that in a weird, dopey way, I mean it in the way that the sun is bright and flowers are pretty. They're hearty yet delicate, using classical influences in modern contexts. All the little chimes and strings create a lovely and slightly refined sound. THWFOS tings, flutters, sparkles, dances, and shimmers subtle, quite beauty. The best example is "Instrumental 1," an airy two or so minutes that just radiate tranquility.

In case you are thinking they are some merry band of fairies, sprinkling pixie dust in their wake, that's not what I'm getting at. THWFOS is most definitely pop (orch pop, most accurately), but it's pop with a brain and more importantly, a soul. "A Question of Trust" is their anti-Tony Blair anthem, a really well-constructed song on all fronts that not only warns of getting swept up in politicians, but laments getting suckered in the first place. Obviously, by the time Blair left office he was wrecked in many ways, but THWFOS isn't bitter about it. They are elegant, peaceful yet opinionated, backed by handclaps and "ahhhs."

As for other terrific tracks, "New Favourite Band" is every single little tinge of excitement and joy you have when you discover a band that feels just right-- and it isn't even two minutes long. "Come on, into my airwaves, I love the way you make it vibrate, this could be as close as heaven will get for me." They balance so well wistfulness and romance without getting anywhere near sappiness.

I've read about their live shows, flowers taped to mic stands and ecleticism all around. They seem like they would be sensational. I don't know if I ever will see them live though. You see, they don't have a label, or even an LP. Sadness.

So, what I am saying to you is this, check these folks out. You won't be sorry and you've got to know that Jane Approximately doesn't put her hand in the fire for just anyone.

Besides, we could all use a little more pretty in our lives.


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