sae-september-19-banner

CURRENT ISSUE

DONATE ADVERTISE SUBSCRIBE

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

The Broken Heartbreakers: How We Got To Now

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

The Broken Heartbreakers: How We Got To Now

With their first album in five years, mostly Dunedin-based four-piece The Broken Heartbreakers continue their beautifully melancholic brand of folk-pop. Their third album expands on 2010’s ‘Wintersun’ foray into wider arrangements and instrumentation. Tracks like Somebody Please walk the fine line between contemporary and the great American songbook, calling to mind Alison Krauss and Crowded House simultaneously. Featuring John Guy Howell (vocas, guitar, piano, 12-string, vibes), Rachel Bailey (vocals, guitar), Jeff Harford’s drums and Richard Pickard on bass (plus some guest appearances), it’s the interplay of vocal harmonies that prove a highlight. Revolution Of The Wolves sees the band in full flight, utilising the many strengths of the wider ensemble, whilst I’m Not Dead plays like a long lost Belle & Sebastian cut. Closer Melody in H is a tribute to the late Sam Prebble. Recorded in Jeff Hartford’s Dunedin living room by Mike Stoodley, very little of this sounds like any kind of home recording. Filling out the arrangements with horns, strings, vibes and a selection of old timey instruments, the record plays with an organic, natural feel, bringing the listener into the world it creates. Although The Broken Heartbreakers are entering their second decade, the wells of musical depth present hold more promise for their next outing. Serving as a reminder to the power of sweetly sung melodies of deeply personal lyrics over minor key arrangements, it’s the bittersweet nature at the heart of this album that proves its biggest strength.

support nzm