Monday, October 06, 2008

New Hearts of Palm UK - "I Flow" (Plus: Music From Passion Pit)

Download: Hearts of Palm UK - "I Flow"
Download: Hearts of Palm UK - "People & Logistics"

Hearts of Palm UK aren't from the British isles, as their name might indicate. In fact, these three electro-pop lasses hail from California, specifically, a Los Angeles suburb called Echo Park. Their music happens to be have enough echo-y, synth-heavy touches to fill an entire park, but on new song "I Flow", the mood is anything but sunny. This despite the fact that the great Cali sky is invoked on the track's opening line.

"I Flow" is an ode to ennui, with the narrator drifting aimlessly from one circumstance to another (chorus: "And so, I flow...where will the wind take me?"). Only time itself can answer that question. But in the meantime, the trio can take pleasure in the fact that they've created a track that's both a snappy throwback to 80s hip-hop (check the main keyboard line and the Casio-bass in the beginning of the song) and a concise summation of present electronic sounds (everything else). Listen to "I Flow" at the top of the post.

And now for something completely different.

Download: Passion Pit - "Smile Upon Me"
Download: Passion Pit - "Sleepyhead

Well, maybe not completely different. The vast array of soundscapes in Passion Pit's brand of electro-pop is a stylistic touch that can immediately hook listeners in. It's what got me. I was really hoping that "Sleepyhead" would have made the top ten so I could have written about it. But alas, it was not to be. Still, I'd thought I'd post "Sleepyhead" anyway, because it's got that "white-kids-in-a-bedroom-trying-to-be-Timbaland" feel that seems to be popular (and rightly so) these days.

I sought out other material by the band, and found the just recently Forkcasted "Smile Upon Me". My reaction was really mixed. The diverse deluge of synthesizers and keyboards is vastly appealing, but these vocals sound like someone doing a drunk Broken Social Scene at 3 AM in a Korean-run karaoke parlor. It's awesome, but it's terrible. I can't stop listening to it.

If I ever get my damn, dirty ape paws on their new EP Chunk of Change, I'll review it to see how the songs hold up in a more regimented context, but for now, listen to "Sleepyhead" and "Smile Upon Me" at the top of the post.

Passion Pit MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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