• kane strang Two Hearts and No Brain (LP, £18.95)

    label: Dead Oceans

    A winning blend of careful precision and mercurial abandon, Kane Strang’s album ‘Two Hearts And No Brain’ is constantly surprising. With a penchant for melodic earworms to rival those of the world’s best pop songwriters, the New Zealand artist’s glittering hooks twist and turn in perfect synch with meticulous band arrangements.  Hints of 60s pop (Zombies, Stooges) and early 00s alt-rock (Interpol, Elliott Smith) shine through but there’s a contemporary crunch, sheen and bald lyrical tone to Strang’s sound that places him firmly in the here and now.  “Strang has a gift for pulling diamonds from the rough,” says Pitchfork, “[his] songs have a way of making modest acts seem heroic.”  ‘Two Hearts And No Brain’ proves emotive and playfully laced with a tongue-in-cheek nostalgia - timelessly old and new in the same breath.  Hailed as “the next Stephen Malkmus” by The Revue, Strang’s on the brink of becoming indie rock’s intelligent poster boy.

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