In terms of indie-pop in the last year, you’d probably struggle to find better than Brooklyn’s Haerts. Their Hemiplegia EP was quite the satisfying introduction to their sound – in particular, Wings seemed to herald the arrival of a sound that could be stadium-filling. Not bad for a fledgling act with apparent dyslexia.
It’s worth dwelling on that track for a moment, to be honest. Taking its cues from power-pop, utilising Nini Fabi at her best, and building to quite an almighty denouement with a gentle echo: “I’ll melt away into your afterglow.” Unlike most debut records, the inclusion of EP tracks like this and Hemiplegia don’t feel repetitive; instead they set the tone and standard for the rest of the album.
It’s one that the the band properly live up to, without missing a beat. Even when the tempo changes on Call My Name (or album closer, Hope), it’s mastered beautifully as the four-piece establish the fact that, yep, they know how to do a chorus. Within minutes, they’re proving it again on Giving Up and No One Needs To Know, the former in particular pulsing with a kinetic drum line.
Through it all remains a message very much hopeful, and indie-pop that’s resolutely uplifting even at its most melancholic (see Be The One for more on that front). It translates into quite the fully-formed debut: a varied and vulnerable collection, hard not to clutch to your bosom, and exactly the sort of beauty that Haerts are wearing on their sleeve.