14 Apr 2021
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An Electric Heart - Album Review: Otiose Me

06 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg

As you press play, the prologue hits you hard and it is obvious that Luke Pell, known as An Electric Heart, has a great understanding on sonics and dynamics on his new album Otiose Me.

Luke Pell describes the An Electric Heart sound as 'alternative pop'. The music is mostly electronic, with a distinctly 80's pop influence, often with double-tracked distorted guitars bringing a 'wall of sound' to the choruses. Recorded over a four year period, you can appreciate how much work has gone into this release.

What is really striking about this album is the way in which Luke approaches his sound. Having a real understanding of what makes 80's synth pop, he melds it into his own sound which in turn provides a truly powerful canvas for his vocals and lyrics to sit upon. Songs like Liquid Dream have a driving rhythm that pushes the song forward but still is able to choose the right places to have big guitars crashing in to back up melodic ideas in the vocal. And it is not just this song where you hear the exceptional showmanship and production work. Every song has so much happening yet it's all been fine tuned.

On the track Stars, an acoustic guitar takes place of driving synths to switch things up a bit. One notable mention is the fantastic vocal work from Luke which fits perfectly into this style. Even on the Fleetwood Mac cover of their track Everywhere, his range of pitch and delivery skill is on show. It was enjoyable to hear his take on this classic track.

And throughout the album, he demonstrates a keen sense of melody and harmony. Knowing when to leave space, when to harmonise… these are things you learn from spending time developing your craft and being able to draw from influences. One of the influences I hear a lot of here is from M83 due to the sonic quality of this album. Everyone will hear all sorts of 80's pop influence coming through the album which is just fantastic. I really enjoy hearing this sort of thing.

On the final track Epilogue (So Long), Luke reflects on life as an artist and its struggles. Something that all artists can relate to.

Luke has a real knack for songwriting and production. The albums flows really well with ideas developed clearly as found on every track. From subtle changes to how a synth line is played to the way the lyrics and vocals accompany the music, it all just works.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About An Electric Heart

An Electric Heart is the pseudonym of Napier based Musician/Music producer Luke Pell. An Electric Heart’s sound is described as a mix of electronic & punk elements, or ‘Alternative pop’.

An Electric Heart’s second full length album titled Pink & Blue was released in 2016. The album’s release was accompanied by a release show and a promotional video for the song Thunderhead.

Luke Pell released the first An Electric Heart record titled; An Electric Heart (Free Promo EP) as a solo project late in 2011, Luke then added more members and expanded the project into a fully-fledged band. Over the last four years An Electric Heart has been through multiple line-up changes and has now returned to being Pell’s solo project.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for An Electric Heart

Releases

Otiose Me
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Pink & Blue
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Drive
Year: 2016
Type: EP
An Electric Heart
Year: 2014
Type: Album
NZ Music
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Part 4 Of 4
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Come On Down
Year: 2012
Type: EP
V.R
Year: 2012
Type: EP
An Electric Heart (Promo)
Year: 2011
Type: EP

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