For some, the transition from bedroom recording to the dreams of something bigger, never quite make the transition. Kane Strang has done more than most to ensure that we now sit here listening to his latest offering. Not only has he moved from the bedroom he also recorded his debut album in a disused German bomb shelter. Four years later and his new album Two Hearts And No Brain is a more polished offering.
Originally hailing from New Zealand his upbringing and musical education includes reflects a swirling triumph of psychedelic lo-fi guitar sounds. Opening track ‘Lagoons’ is a statement of intent with its melodic lo-fi sound accompanied by Kane’s seemingly one dimensional, almost monotone vocals. Yet this is no bad thing, merely a mood setting. ‘Silence Overgrown’ grows his sound further with laid back catchy guitar hooks.
After a successful appearance at this year’s The Great Escape where he performed a brilliant set, this album confirms his rise and ability to create a relevant commentary on life’s daily grind. With tracks such as ‘Not Quite’ and ‘Oh So You’re Off I See’ we gain a more enriched sound, which is blended with Strang’s lyrical honesty whilst still keeping that downbeat, lo-fi sound.
A slower pace is selected for the middle part of the album with ‘See Thru’ and the excellent ‘Summertime In Your Lounge’ as the album continues to explore the frustration of disenchanted relationships. The album's lead single, ‘My Smile Is Extinct’ has a braver and more upbeat sound with more pop sensibilities. With more focus on an acoustic lead, this is another tale of love lost and the following spiral downwards, yet wrapped in very catchy lyrics:
"Yes she’s the best I’ve ever had, I’ll say it to her face and I’ll say it to her dad".
This is an obvious lead single and should create further attention for this talented singer-songwriter. The album's title track is further evidence of his ability to create melancholic strangled love songs that speak of the reality of dating in the instantaneous nature of the modern world. It is perfectly pitched with a realism which is a welcome change. He almost begins to answer his own spiraling decent into madding frustration with ‘It’s Not That Bad’ as if to create some light relief and to maintain his continued belief that all will be well at some point, he’s just not sure when.
This is clearly an album that will grow on you the more listens it’s given. It’s also a very honest, open-hearted album that will have you going back again and again as we continue our struggle to understand the complexities of what the hell are we all doing. More of the same please Mr Strang.