Back to the ‘80s
Even though Heart Bones just released their debut album, most indie fans will recognize the two voices behind the project. There are none the less than Sean Tillmann of Har Mar Superstar and Sabrina Ellis of A Giant Dog/Sweet Spirit. The two announced their new joined project back in December and now released their first full-length album Hot Dish. These artists, especially Har Mar Superstar, are known for mixing various styles in his songs and combines them with fun lyrics. This fusion reflects the fun their two have with ’80 sound styles and they definitely don’t take themselves too seriously.
The album starts with the previously released song “This Time It’s Different,” a song that is full of synthesizer and exciting sounds. The duo is not only responding to each other but also in great harmony. The lyrics might be all about relationship drama; the song itself is upbeat and just plain and simple fun. As the first track, “I Like Your Way” is a fun track that gets the fans excited for the rest of the album. The title “Open Relations” sums up the song pretty good, it’s about a woman exploring her sexual freedom while in a relationship. Open relationships can be tricky and it’s no difference in this song, one party is slightly suffering. Even though the lyrics seem to be inspired by a new generation of relationship issues, the audience gets to enjoy it with the great ‘80s inspired pop sound. “Control” is the first darker sound on the album, a very hypnotic sound that is complemented by the artist’s voices.
Talking about issues of a generation, “Don’t Read The Comments” is all about that, with a message of not to lean in on the bad stuff that happens on social media, or at least, don’t let it bring you down. There is even a sneaky little ‘80s reference in the song, “Put Baby in the Corner.” The ‘80s are having such a comeback now anyway. “Unforgivable” starts with Ellis giving the audience some taste of her French, and the whole song sounds so much more sophisticated all of a sudden. “Little Dancer” with its elector sound that is slightly darker than the other songs, is one of the highlights on the album, just because it’s pretty catchy in the end too and the song also represents the duo so very well.
“Dashboard” also has a slightly heavier sound, the audience even gets a little disturbance of sound during an instrumental part, which is really something different on the album and makes the song stick out. With “Claws ‘87,” the album gets a little smoother and it first feels like a slow jam during prom in an ‘80s movie, it becomes a more modern as the song continues while still maintaining its sound. The album comes to a full circle with the cover of ‘80s classic “Hungry Eyes,” originally by Eric Carmen and featured on the “Dirty Dancing” Soundtrack. The cover is sung by both artistic and has a very artistic use of autotune. The robotic/futuristic sound of “Beg for It” could be another soundtrack. But the desperation in the line “They wanna see me beg for it” is noticeable and gives the song another depth that is very much appreciated.
Fans of both artists won’t be disappointed with Hot Dish and Heart Bones, and it is certain to say that the band will gain more fans with this album as well. The ‘80s references are fun and the sound can trigger people’s imagination, which is always a great quality in music. This album is truly exceptional and unique. The mixing of the songs is also extremely well done, starting off with easier sounds and digging deeper as the album goes on. Heart Bones accomplish something with this album, that only a few can.