Harts – Offtime (EP): Album Review

harts

HARTS
Offtime (EP)

Universal
4/5

There’s a heap of good music coming out of Australia right now, but this extended player from Melbourne native Harts hints that the best is still yet to come.

“I ain’t so satisfied with today / Music lost all its soul, it’s dead” begins ‘The Music’, the first track on Offtime. When a catchy electric guitar hook and disco beat kicks in, you realise Darren Hart who, aged 20, produced, arranged and played all the instruments here, has a point. Recent offerings from his contemporaries sound one-dimensional in comparison. Fusing funk, disco, glam and grunge these songs are seriously infectious.

You might have heard an early version of ‘Back To The Shore’ two years ago, but the recording featured here has been improved immeasurably by a punchy mix by The Mars Volta’s Lars Stalfors (he also mixed the EP’s other four tracks). It recalls Hart’s fellow Melburnians Cut Copy at their very best but then you’ll hear a tasty guitar lick that makes you think this guy is better compared to Prince.

‘All Too Real’ may well be the highlight. A single synth note leads straight into vocals and a killer ‘80s electro-funk bassline. It’s taut and well-structured but the reason it’s a winner is a kick-arse melody and catchy chorus. “I got the feeling it’s all too real / My world won’t last forever / But in the next life babe / We’ll be together” is not exactly Keats but it works for the song. It’s no surprise it’s garnered plenty of radio play in the UK and elsewhere.

Offtime is ace. Harts is on fire and by rights he should set the world alight.

Article published in The Brag, 18th March 2013

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