Hearts and Minutes
Rock and Roll
• "New Music: Formations, by Hearts And Minutes
I was very excited to discover that Hearts and Minutes have released a new EP. They are an indie/Post-Rock/Experimental band from LA. I only found out about the new release yesterday, but it was released in December. I bought a copy immediately as I knew it would be amazing. I was not disappointed. :)
I first came across this band in 2013. At that time they had released their awesome EP “Delirium”. I fell in love with the four tracks on that EP.
At the time, I was blogging at a different site and interviewed the band. They told me that their music is “… rock music with a tendency towards a grand sound and towards experimentation. We experiment with song structures, song lengths, and instruments (violins, second drum sets, keyboards, etc.). People have said we sound like Post-Rock with vocals.”
I think that’s a great description of their music.
The new 6-track EP, “Formations”, is a feast for the ears. It’s very original and they have a distinct sound that sets them apart from any other similar bands."
- Maria Savva, January 2016
UK Arts Directory
Hearts and Minutes Interview/Album Review
- September, 2013
• "With its six-track, self-titled EP, the Portland, OR/Los Angeles-based duo Hearts and Minutes manage to combine a sense of drama and scope similar to post-rock bands like Explosions in the Sky, with a melancholy vocal-and-guitar style a la Radiohead. But these comparisons are meant to be applied loosely, as Hearts and Minutes emerges with a distinct, unclassifiable sound all their own.
The six-track set is soaked in reverb and epic, ringing guitars, but instead of just employing the usual straightforward post-rock wash, they sprinkle the celestial with the discordant, as jarring tritones and chromatic notes materialize like the wind and vanish as quickly as they come. Combined with a handful of abrupt yet logical tempo shifts, Hearts and Minutes display a musical ambition that borders on progressive rock.
"Drips," the all-instrumental centerpiece, exemplifies the group's colossal post-rock qualities best, whereas "Animal Talk II" has sudden, menacing changes in speed and dynamics before its dreamlike outro hints at their proggy side. Hearts and Minutes are somewhat chameleonic in that they stray from the strictly-instrumental mold, incorporating several vocal passages that display a melodic, pop sensibility - filled with sorrow, but a pop sensibility nonetheless - while their fragile harmonies provide the engine for mellower tracks like "K2." Leadoff song "The Axe" features some of these vocals as well, but an odd passage of voice filtered through a wah pedal is thrown in early in the track. Due to the vocals' abrasive delivery, however, it manages to avoid sounding like gimmickry.
Hearts and Minutes encompass myriad genres - instrumental post-rock, progressive rock, ambient music and even traces of noise and tribal music - tying it all together with distinctive and sparsely used vocal passages. All in all, the duo has found an original and authentic amalgam of sounds and styles."
- John Barrett May 2010
• "Hearts and Minutes has an audience. They must. There’s a certain type of person who digs on this kind of music. Melodramatic, drawn out music that can be described a shoegaze. It’s mood music ... It’s good for a lazy day or the soundtrack for that moment in between sleep and being awake. It’s also very emotional music and the band does very good job of bringing that feeling to the listener."
– Beau Dowling, Nov. 2009
Brigades Like This
• "Dreamy melodies gently pound while hammering rhythms on Brigades Like This’ self-titled debut album. The instrumentation varies from hushed to trippy as it builds to a full, buzzing and fuzzed out climax that resounds and reverberates with ease."
- Corrine, Jan 2008
• "Abandon all ye preconceptions about what music is before listening. Devolver is an incredibly innovative Bay-Area duo, defying convention with their haunting vocals which wail oddly in the ever-restructuring peaks and valleys of the minimalist music. It is not-so-obvious genius, I thinks the rational mind says that this oft-discordant album shouldn't work, but it does. It feels. It's right. It's my job to tell you why, but I can't it's truly spellbinding."
West Coast Performer
• "You can't have a lukewarm, in-between opinion of Devolver - you either love 'em or you just don't. If you crave eclectic, noisy rock with an emphasis on effects, pick up Life Science. Because each song is unpredictably frenetic and complicated, it's the sort of album you would put on when you're about to create a modern art masterpiece (think wide, spastic brushstrokes), but it's also fitting to put on as background music when you're rocking yourself back and forth on one of your "bad days".
While their music is truly unique, on first listen it's the similarities you'll notice between the songs - all have the same slow-ish rock tempo, with drawn out minimalist vocals over off-kilter musical arrangements. Many of the tracks follow a similar structure and seems to loop one into the next, leading you to think to yourself, "Hmph. Devolver sounds a little like a slightly irked, non-hippie jam band" - and you would be right.
But as you listen again to Devolver, you may become increasingly impressed with the musical intricacies of each song. Devolver dares to deviate from the predictable formula of radio-friendly rock. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely makes their music less accessible to fans of melody. Their sound is strongly guitar-driven: the songs lean heavily on complicated and noisy instrumental breaks and near-psychedelic riffs, relying less on lyrical delivery.
Listeners will be shocked - shocked! - to find out that Devolver is a two-piece band, especially after hearing how layered and lushly complex their instrumentation is. Griffin Wright is the mastermind behind the guitars, keyboards and vocals, with Antares Meketa on drums (Mark Meyer plays bass on the album). Wright's vocals are full of some primitive emotion - whether it's painful longing or seething anger is unclear.
It's unfortunate that the actual lyrics are difficult to understand, but the music still succeeds in evoking a strong reaction. Only you know whether that reaction will lead you to burn the album for all your friends or use it as part of the aforementioned modern art masterpiece."
- Veronica Young