False Beats And True Hearts



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    False Beats And True Hearts 20/20/20

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Review Text After taking a few years away from the studio, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang return with their seventh studio album, False Beats and True Hearts, and show absolutely no signs of age, wear and tear, or deterioration. Once again working with Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara, the duo weaves together elements of folk, psych, dream pop, and indie rock into an enchanting sound that is both fresh and comforting. Very few artists are able to keep doing roughly the same thing for more than a few years without running out of inspiration, but Damon & Naomi seem like they could keep making albums like this forever without wearing out their welcome. Partly they manage this by varying their sound a bit from album to album. Here they add Yang’s piano to many of the tracks, giving them an undercurrent of '70s singer/songwriter intimacy. The album is also a little less produced and arranged than the last record, with more direct songwriting and poppier melodies. That being said, it’s still a D&N record, so you can expect Yang’s trademarked dreamlike basslines; Kurihara’s fluid and whip-like guitar; Krukowski’s subtle yet powerfully flowing drumming; and songs that are autumnal and introspective, with the kind of emotional wallop only music made by people who are attuned to the true nature of life and love can have. Most of the emotion is transmitted through the instruments, but both Yang and Krukowski have fragile, untrained voices that can convey all kinds of feeling with just the smallest crack or whisper. On False Beats and True Hearts, the duo is in fine form as usual; Yang especially keeps growing more confident and expressive with each record. Her vocals on "Nettles and Ivy" are quite possibly the best work she’s done to date. Many of the songs on the album rank with their best work -- the tender and nostalgic-feeling "Ophelia," the raging (for D&N) album-opener "Walking Backwards" that features Kurihara’s most biting guitar work, and the heartbreakingly sad-sounding "And You Are There" all qualify. Taken as a whole, False Beats and True Hearts does, too. It feels like Damon & Naomi have always been around to soundtrack the inner lives of melancholy dreamers smart enough to seek them out, and with this album they continue to provide the same impressive and necessary level of solace and inspiration, deeply felt songs, and enchanted performances that they always have. ~ Tim Sendra

Track Listing

Record: 1

  1. 1. Walking Backwards
  2. 2. How Do I Say Goodbye
  3. 3. Shadow Boxing
  4. 4. Ophelia
  5. 5. Nettles and Ivy
  6. 6. What She Brings
  7. 7. Embers
  8. 8. And You Are There
  9. 9. Helsinki

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