A clever and colourful long-player from the makers of one of 2011’s best singles.
Mike Diver 2012-02-15
Hooray for Earth are the architects of one of 2011’s standout singles, this second LP’s title-track. True Loves, the song, is one of those instantly grabbing, sort-of-familiar-yet-compellingly-alien efforts which straddles its influences in such a way that it towers above the vast majority of them. It’s fantastic, coming on like MGMT with a PhD, and it landed with a beautiful video (“looks like Skyrim,” reads one YouTube comment – it’s certainly otherworldly) which further stirred anticipation for this collection, released stateside last year.
True Loves, the album, packs into its 10 tracks plenty more magic from the same source as its lead cut. Based around singer-songwriter Noel Heroux, Hooray for Earth mine a tremendous seam of catchy yet clever-clogs indie-rock, with additional colours drawn from 1980s electro-pop. This approach lends Bring Us Closer Together the air of a John Hughes soundtrack (or Flight of the Navigator’s score gone pop): it shines with a brilliant exuberance that can’t fail to infect the nervous system into twitch-along action, matching it perfectly with a montage of on-screen teenage triumph. Sails rides in on synths straight from the Bell/Clarke songbook, but its plaintive vocals recall Steve Mason in a moribund rut – the contrast between light and shade here is masterfully managed, as it is on following numbers.
The roots of Hooray for Earth stretch back to the mid-90s, and that experience shows in these songs. Traces of experimental groups of the last decade can be detected; but, always, any out-there-rocker vibes are tempered by immediate pop hooks, of a size that could land a whale shark, and Heroux and company aren’t afraid to test zestier creative waters. No Love is a peculiar piece which dabbles with funk, house and the punchy lyrical motifs of the short-lived new-rave era’s finer examples. (Think Late of the Pier rather than Hadouken! – intelligence drives things forwards, not rabble-rousing playground shouts.) Closer Black Trees mellows the mood, its keyboard washes soothing the burns caused by the sparks of preceding tracks.
With firm foundations built across several years of touring and recording, Hooray for Earth arrive for their UK breakthrough as a remarkably fully-formed outfit, radio-ready and – if there’s any justice – with academy-sized sell-outs in their near future. True Loves delivers on the fantastic promise of its title-track, comprising a commendable listen for those demanding defined individuality from their chosen songsmiths.