I will always vibe with music that seems otherworldly. Maybe it stems from my severe childhood obsession with E.T, or perhaps it’s my incessant craving for information on David Bowie and his creative process; crafting songs that were not of this world and yet so very relatable. Out of Austin, Texas, Technicolor Hearts imbue a lot of their sound and lyrical content with that sense of wonder, infusing elements of dream pop, electronic, and new wave into a tightly wrapped EP entitled Rebirth (released March 22nd, 2020).
The trio of Joseph Salazar, Marri Palmer, and Carter Greeves hash it out similarly to another trio, Beach House. Opening track “What Makes You Think?” prioritizes mid tempo synthesizers, dry machine drum rhythm, and subdued vocals. It holds a certain charm but doesn’t fully deliver any infectious melody or gravitas. The structure does not lean enough on the pop spectrum of synth pop/dream pop but rather goes for an artsier venture and ultimately loses a lot of gas through the middle. Instrumental piece “December 10th” gives plenty of mood to this EP and cements in my mind that this trio is fully capable of creating great works. There is plenty of confidence at play in these song arrangements and melodic progressions, but I just keep waiting for the hook which doesn’t come. The song “Dead Space” does my job for me in its title: too much dead space. There’s plenty of fluff but not enough staying power to really make a solid impact, like cotton candy the sugar is there but briefly.
Palmer has a strong enough voice that Technicolor Hearts can get away with a lot as far as experimentation, but ultimately greater success will come from plugging into the more pop component of their sound. Bands like Dear Rouge and CHVRCHES have made major waves in the last couple years mixing synth pop and electronic, and I feel like Technicolor Hearts would definitely hit that sweet spot with a little refinement and a little luck.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy