Austin based group Technicolor Hearts released their second project Rebirth, in March after a five-year gap. The name of the EP is fitting. Technicolor Hearts has moved away from their earlier dream pop and folk-oriented sound and instead has embraced a synth-pop sound. A sort of rebirth of sound. The result is an EP of punchy and dark electronic tunes.
Rebirth can be characterized as an electronic album with a dance-y, sometimes eerie, or psychedelic tone. But the EP's style does not pigeonhole Technicolor Hearts. Apart from the regular array of synths and pedals, this EP also includes acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, violin and a variety of off the wall percussion, including a lampshade. Details like this give Rebirth a charm and a uniqueness compared to its contemporaries. Without this variety of instrumentation, the project would have lacked the spirit that it has.
The opening track “What Makes You Think,” showcases Technicolor Beats style for Rebirth. The song is danceable and uplifting but has specific chord changes and aesthetic aspects that make it feel uneasy. The swelling guitar and reverb throughout create an almost otherworldly atmosphere, and the violin that comes in near the end of the track has an eerie feel to it. Singer Merri Palmer delivers poignant lyrics with a voice soaked in effects. The words on “What Makes You Think” tackle the idea of not feeling like oneself, equating it to feeling like a monster. Palmer sings, “Now you’re some Frankenstein / Patchwork monster electrified.” These lyrics match the mysterious nature mentioned previously.
“People in the Future” is another solid track. It’s downtempo and less dance-y but just as entrancing. It starts with Palmer’s reverbed vocals that sound like they’re coming from another dimension, then transitions to a Massive Attack style jam that features heavy bass and an R&B/hip hop beat. The repetitive synth in the track is hypnotizing for the majority of the song, but when it hits the bridge, a tinny and harsh synth breaks in and adds a creepy element that is in line with the rest of the EP.
Technicolor Beats has created a world all their own on Rebirth. The mix of synths and layered effects with more traditional instruments creates a discordance (that is mirrored in the lyrics as well) that makes this project so unique and will keep you listening.
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