So anyone heard it yet? What are your verdicts? Not so sure myself yet. My favourite track is Euphoria which is gorgeous, reminding me a little of Nightingale The two singles, Paris, Paper Heart and the title track are also very good. But Possessed and Original Sin are a bit poor, Tornado doesn't quite work and Reverie is a big disappointment in terms of production. It just sounds a bit woolly to my ears and doesn't match the live version. Maybe my thoughts will change...
Incoasterble - are you going to the Brudenell Social Club? I checked it out when I was in Leeds on Monday. Dodgy area or not??
Lol it can look a tad 'ghetto'.. I'm going to the show Saturday week; to be fair The Social's become a regular haunt for me, as they've hosted many of the bands I follow. For as much as it's worth I haven't encountered anything out of the ordinary when parking just down the street, or on site where there is a surprising vast amount of car park space available. The bus from north-central Leeds also drops off very nearby but I'd be sure to check the stop and it's relative orientation first.. The place is great for atmosphere and sound.
All being well I will be over for the Sheffield gig on Friday: will look out.
I'm very impressed by all of the new album to date. Captures a lot of different moods and themes, wonderfully individual. Love the guitar work and how well it sits with the vocals, also the key shifting. I like the sound that the band have developed as a whole over time.
Great album! It did not quite connect with me the first or even the second listen through but have since listened to it all the way through close to a dozen times now and must say that it is magnificent. The only track that I could see myself passing over would be Possessed but other than that another excellent album to add to their catalog by this very talented group of songwriters and musicians. I haven't ordered it yet due to the fact that I don't have a credit card with me but as soon as I get home it will be one of my first tasks. Have the Howling Bells spirit right now and let's hope that they keep making Howling Bells albums.
My favorite Heartstrings tracks from top to bottom (these songs are very interchangeable):
Heartstrings Euphoria Reverie Your Love Original Sin Paris Tornado Slowburn Paper Heart Possessed
'Loud, but never knowingly jarring' - something that just leaps at me from one of the recent reviews. I would maybe say 'empowered' or 'willful' instead of 'loud', but I like the 'never knowingly jarring'. Heartstrings reminds me of a favourite quality which I look for on a decent-riding modern wooden tracked roller coaster. I love the feeling of something having a great power, a force and a control over you and it not scared to clearly communicate so; whilst at the same time keeping maintaining smooth transition from one direction to the other, across combinations of lateral, negative, and positive gravitational forces. I think the 'smoothness' comes not only from good production but importantly the artist having a mature, stable and realistic World-view; embracing complex and engrossing emotional concepts but never letting go of the sense of inner awareness and repressed optomism.
Today Wishing a Happy Release Day to Heartstrings, Howling Bells and everyone who's had a part in making it happen!
I haven't listened as many times as mattchew, I like it both as a whole and also as a collection of songs, I could find a place for each in one 'faves playlist' or another. I must say conversely to Mattchew I particularly enjoy Possessed, for it's edgy abruptness, Joel's guitar punctuations and the delightfully counter-set chorus.
I spotted the album's up to stream on Deezer as of today (maybe Spotify or Rdio too? - I don't use those)
Heartstrings was in Spotify right from the start as well.
At first the album sounded a bit too noisy and raw for my taste but after couple more listens it made much more sense. One 31 minute listen goes quite fast so it's an easy album to spin again. IMO it doesn't make any sense to compare Heartstrings to their other albums. All their albums have plenty of good songs and this is no exception. I feel like this is their "punk" record, but it's a bit like when R.E.M. went "punk" with Accelerate. Short and loud songs but the melodies and hooks are still there and then there is a sequence of slower songs in between as well. Paris has some lovely Juanita wordplay (...devotion / poetry in motion / I can see the magic in your eyes) and it's a bit like a blast from the Bells-past but with noisier atmosphere. Possessed has been mentioned and at first I was a bit so so about it...but now I like that number. Possessed is a fast very short number and it has that hilarious funny little hook "I can seee the loo-ook in youuur eyes." ta-da-da-da-dad-dad-dam! At least it creates the mood of the album as track 2. Possessed is a bit like a song from one of my fave bubblegum rock bands, the mighty Hoodoo Gurus. All first 5 tracks are quite fast rackets that definitely do not overstay their welcome. Slowburn is probably the most streamlined rock number of these. Euphoria is a sexy slow number and Paper Heart goes well after that as both are short. It has been often that Bells sequence slow songs together, even already in Waikiki- album. The title track is more familiar ghostly cinema territory. In the end the album is not exactly what I had in mind...but I don't mind at all! I feel I will come back to this album quite often in the future.
I've just gotten back from a couple of weeks on holiday so I haven't been able to get on here and chat about the new album until now. I was though able to listen to it a fair bit while I was away. Overall I like it. It's not the return to the form of the début but I am enjoying it more than any Howling Bells album since that first one. My problem with 90% of the Bell's stuff since the début is they seem to have lost their knack for subtly. The music isn't as cool, it sounds like its trying too hard. The début was so effortlessly cool and had a cinematic timeless quality to it.
Anyway onto Heartstrings:
Paris - I like it as a song. Dreadful lyrics though. The band seem to have fallen into the trap of always thinking the lines have to rhyme. It's a long way from the poetic work of the début. Lyrics I enjoyed so much that I paid for one of those signed lyric sheets of 'The Bell Hit' on Pledge Music a few years ago (which I never received unfortunately). Possessed - I am enjoying this one but can't shake the idea it sounds like two songs mashed together. Your Love - like the guitar work and general feel of the song but the repetition of the chorus lyrics starts to get really repetitive. Slow Burn - This has really grown on me (fittingly). One of the best songs they've produced since the Pledge Music EP. Bit short though. Could have done with developing out further. Tornado - Love this song. Got such a cool feel to it. Euphoria - Dreadful. Does nothing for me and makes me cringe a bit. This album's 'Let's be kids'. Paper Heart - Okayish. Like the key changes. Could have done with a soaring guitar line like in Starry Eyes. Original Sin - Favourite song on the album. Really great. Got everything in it that makes the band great. Reverie - really good. Feels like there is something missing in the production though. Feels a bit flat compared to the live version. Heartstrings - once you get over the vomit inducing lyrics of 'like some kind of romantic heroin' and 'love doesn't destroy it creates' I actually really like this song. It's got a cool feel to it and dare I say it, a subtly.