February/March 2015

by Jamie McCaskill

Fresh Talent: An Electric Heart

by Jamie McCaskill

Fresh Talent: An Electric Heart

Formed in 2007, two-piece alternative pop act An Electric Heart has released five EPs as well as a recent album. With Brandon Gellar on guitars and Luke Pell on vocals, synths, samples and programming, the ’’80’s-style electronica beats of this Napier-based duo has been described as “… a welcome respite from mindless pop.””

The pair are both practitioners of Muay Thai and after meeting through a local gym several years ago started a short-lived punk band. An Electric Heart was subsequently Pell’’s solo project, and when he decided to expand it into a live band he invited Gellar to join him again.

Unable to find a suitable drummer they settled into a more electronic sound. Five early releases are available free on their Bandcamp page.

Having released a dynamic first album, the aptly named ‘An Electric Heart’, in September last year, they are already halfway through a second album, with six songs written, a single and video soon to be released.

Pell has been an audio engineer for 15 years and is the self-confessed driver of the band. Indeed talking to him provides plenty of inspiration for others to keep at it, to just keep going. He writes most of the compositions with guitarist Gellar adding to the sound.

“We’’re into the same things, so it works.””

Influenced heavily by ’’90s punk bands such as NOFX and The Offspring, their electronica sound is laid over the top of these influences, making for a delightful mix of electronic punk harmony and psychedelic sci fi. But that’’s not all they can give. They can strip their music back to just a guitar and vocals, allowing the listener to appreciate the work and thought that goes into the sound of this duo.

“I’’m into art and music is just one of the things I do,”” says Pell. “I did our website and do all our design stuff plus making videos.””

Further evidencing his resourcefulness, he animated the music video for Prototype, the first song on their self-titled album.

“I see a lot of bands grind to a halt because they don’’t get funding, but I prefer to charge forward and just do it.””

support nzm