Review Summary: I'm alive
When one goes on an expedition deep into the realm of widely undiscovered indie music, the true gems are hard to come by. After a while of searching, the songs begin to sound the same and the quest becomes a lost cause. Well rejoice, indie fans, for Cold Mailman brings you another batch of indie-pop tunes that is certain to please all lovers of the genre as well as newcomers with Heavy Hearts
. Hailing just north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, Cold Mailman, which started off as a solo project of Ivar Bowitz, has released a small yet consistent catalogue of albums that should appeal to anyone truly dedicated to the indie scene. How To Escape Cause and Effect
contains several amazing tracks; Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You
follows a path oriented in a direction similar to that of its successor, albiet slightly less folky and noticeably more mellow. With the start of the new year, Cold Mailman hopped back into the studio and released two wonderful new singles, not once showing any signs of slowing down. With Heavy Hearts
the band only expresses signs of progression, and express it they do.
All talk of indie-love aside, Heavy Hearts
can and should be enjoyed by anybody who enjoys rock music. This record offers up an outstanding collaboration of deep male and angelic female vocals (see "Mountaineer's Foot" as an example) as well as a wide, yet manageable variety of musical styles over the course of its 40-minute runtime. Take single "Venetian Blinds", for example, which perfectly exemplifies some of the band's fairly obvious synthpop influences: this track is quite reminiscent of something that could be heard on a modern Pet Shop Boys album, giving it somewhat of an 80s pop feel that can be heard elsewhere in the album (e.g. "Shakedown 1992"). "I Was Wrong", on the other hand, brings to the table an ambient / soft-rock atmosphere and includes a very soothing jam rock-like guitar solo which, to probably any listener's surprise, takes a hard rock turn of events partway through the song. It's this type of diversity found on Heavy Hearts
that makes it so magical. Regardless, the record remains consistent from start to finish, rarely ever losing pace.
But what is it exactly that makes Heavy Hearts
a hidden gem? Well, when one thinks of the term "hidden gem", more likely than not the first thing that will pop into their mind will be words like "new" and "original". And while Heavy Hearts
easily meets all those criteria, it doesn't satisfy them to a point where the sound the album offers can be considered truly unheard of or totally unique. Instead, a word that might fit Heavy Hearts
most appropriately would be "fresh", sort of like a pleasant gust of wind in the middle of autumn. Clearly, a gust of wind is far from uncommon in that particular season, yet this particular breeze stands out just a little more than the others, hits just the right spot, and as a result becomes a bit more personal, making it the best breeze of the season. And to think, if you had been standing in a different place or in the same spot just at a different time, you may not have experienced it. That's what makes Heavy Hearts
the hidden gem it is.