Album Review

Two Hearts and No Brain

Two Hearts and No Brain

by Kane Strang


Dead Oceans
9 / 10
30th June 2017

Reviewed by Paul Larsen


Kane Strang is quickly becoming an ambassador for Kiwi indie rock. Since 2015, the Dunedin-based melody maker has built on the success of his debut record, Blue Cheese with the inking of a US record deal, embarking on a trans-Atlantic tour, and putting the finishing touches on sophomore record, Two Hearts and No Brain.

With Strang looking to pursue a more professional sound, Two Hearts was pieced together in the iconic venue-turned-studio, Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers, with production help from Steven Marr (Doprah, Nakey). The result is an incredibly sharp collection of songs that bookend Strang’s talents, from singer-songwriter to main stage indie-rocker. Initial singles, ‘Oh So You’re Off I See’ and ‘My Smile is Extinct’ turn out to have foreshadowed the record’s sound neatly, with a deliberate focus on smart lyrics wrapped around tight and bright song writing.

But the record really shines when the two sounds meet, such as on the achingly poignant ‘Not Quite’. Here, Strang is uniquely able to marry the sentiment of Elliot Smith with the delivery of Interpol frontman Paul Banks. To keep things happily uneven, there’s even a drop of psychedelia thrown into the multi-layered trip of ‘Summertime in Your Lounge’.

If there is a criticism to be levelled, it may be that the record’s polish has unwittingly restrained a few of the records louder moments which could have benefited from a little more wattage. All told though, Two Hearts is a brilliant second effort from one of our brightest talents. Expect to get some mileage out of this one.





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