"Her and Hurt, Hearts" cassette
Genres: indie pop, lo-fi
Best Kept Secret
c/o Alessandro Crestani
via Biron di Sotto, 101
Feb 2 - 8 2004
The last And Academy album I reviewed, Love and Africa, Love
and Academy, got an 87% and earned a spot on the Best of 2003
list. This album, released exclusively on tape, is not eligible for
the 2003 list (it came out in 2002), but certainly earns its 88% - one
higher than last time.
Her and Hurt, Hearts is a perfect release for the wonderful
Italian cassette label Best Kept Secret, which has been consistently
putting out pop tape after pop tape since the late nineties. And
Academy have an irresistible pop sound, brimming in cleverly
unobvious melodies and complex song structures. Their inventive
songs are well-constructed - they remain fresh much longer than most
pop tunes do. On tape, their music sounds even better - it's
much fuller and warmer than the cold, digital atmosphere of compact discs.
The songs on this album are truly unique, but will surely fit in
with releases on BKS, HHBTM, Matinée, and the like. Just be
warned, this is a bit more rock-based than some of the more pop-centred
albums on those labels - those who can't handle anything harder than
twee will find parts of Her and Hurt, Hearts quite
unbearable. But how many people are actually like that?
Anyone with a pulse and a genuine interest in melodic indie pop should
be able to dig this tape. Songs like "Zero Plus Zero Plus
Zero" and "Warmer Dead Cold" are simply brilliant; they
sound as if they've been marinated for days in pop hooks galore.
All in all, Her and Hurt, Hearts is a very satisfying
album. Though it may require a few listens to truly sink in,
this tape will likely find a very cherished spot in your music
collection. And Academy deserve to be musical superheroes
- and the thing is, they already [however secretly] are.
[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2002]