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Burning Hearts

Aboa Sleeping

(Shelflife; US: 10 Feb 2009; UK: Available as import)

I’m not sure how one of their Finnish brethren didn’t snap up the name Burning Hearts for his garage band, but Jessika Rapo and Henry Ojala got there first and their debut is a dreamy slice of indie pop sure to inflame the hearts of the converted and put the nonbelievers to sleep. Ojala conjures up a chilly soundscape of synths, squelches and keyboards that melts (and sometimes refreezes) under Rapo’s Nico-gone-Scandinavian vocals. That said, the duo boasts a large heart, from the swirling ‘80s romanticism of “Various Lives”, post-punky “We Walked Among The Trees” and the ethereal standout, “A Peasant’s Dream”. Of course, after eight tracks of lush sonic beauty they clear the decks on the album’s eponymous closer, creating as much atmosphere with piano and acoustic guitar as they did with layer upon layer of artfully applied sonics. We may be heading into spring, but this one’s worth saving for the sunny day after a late-March snowstorm.

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