For many fans of what can be called sophisticated pop/rock, a combination of Belle & Sebastian and Stereolab would be a dream come true. An additional accent on harmony vocals and jazzy overtones would definitely be a bonus.
In reality, the actual union of the two is not in the works, but the all-female quartet Kalbells come up with exactly such a sound on their second release, Max Heart. What started out just a side project for Rubblebucket’s Kalmia Traver turned into a full-blown extravaganza of psychedelic pop with added touches of subtle electronics, jazzy grooves, and harmonies galore.
With the blessing of modern technology, you can start anywhere with the 10 tracks here and not find a single misstep. The opener, “Red Marker” closing title track, or exceptional ones like “Hump the Beach” and “Diagram Of Me Sleeping” all spell musical imagination, style and excellence.
No doubt about it, Kalbell’s Max Heart is one of the exceptional releases of the year so far.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: KALBELLS – MAX HEART