Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Such a Young Heart

It's here. It's here. Did someone say it's here?

After a long wait, Blondfire's second full-length album finally came out today. That's good: I've listened to My Someday many, many times, along with the EPs Don't Whisper Lies, Holiday EP, the iTunes Live Session, and Where the Kids Are, which featured singles from this long-awaited new album, Young Heart.

As I've mentioned, Blondfire has been my indie band of choice for years, perhaps six or so. There are times when I listen to the brother/sister duo's music less, but always I keep returning to them. Through the end of high school and then through the end of college, their music has stayed relevant to me. With the release of each new single from Young Heart, it was strange to hear a new song from the same band I had listened to for so long. But each of these four songs has grown on me--deeply. So with the release of the full album, I found myself in the odd situation of having already connected to a third of the songs but not the rest.

The first listen took some getting used to. But by the second listen, I was growing more used to this group. As the title implies, Young Heart is all about living and enjoying life and enjoying dreams. It's unpretentious, simple, fun, atmospheric indie pop music. And it's the atmospheric part that lifts this album out from the crowd for me. This music takes you to a place where you can live, free of worry but somehow not free of responsibility. It doesn't tip over into being reckless or non-caring or candy-coated: it's more about the joy of following through with the decision to follow a certain path.

"Young Heart," followed by "Where the Kids Are," sets the tone for the album. "Waves," "Walking with the Giants," and "Hide and Seek" (all of which I adore) hint at a more complex past that hasn't always had pleasant emotional grounds; but they bring the mood to joyful recovery and resolution. "Dear in Your Headlights" is sort of the decision to enjoy life; "Kites" is the day dream. Surprisingly, I'm enjoying "Wild and Wasted." It doesn't have to be a song about getting drunk (like half the things on the radio): it's more about that moment of unrestrained imagination that you can associate with drinking. And it has a catchy tune. "We Are One" is the slowest song on the album, and I didn't find much particularly interesting about "Life of the Party." "Right Goes Wrong" is a little reminiscent of "Hide and Seek." The final song, "The Only Ones," makes me sad. Perhaps I'm just reading in some of my own thoughts to the lyrics, but I'm consequently having trouble with this song. Am I the only one who gets sad by it? It seems odd to have a sad song at the end of an album that's all about enjoying having a young heart.

Overall, though, I'm enjoying this album. Like Blondfire's previous music, it's easy to listen to but also offers the opportunity to ponder further and to create deeper meaning for as you listen to the songs over and over. Now why don't you head on over to iTunes and buy Young Heart?

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