My Heart is Leaking just caused me to rethink my view on second-hand smoke. The heart-filled vapors flowing from the ponderer on the cover are an alluring foreshadowing of what lies ahead; dreamy alt-country twang mixed with the best of Pet Sounds experimental pop and the emotionally diverse and lush orchestrations of ELO. The unsigned Chicago quintet’s first EP (Redbird, released back in 2005) leaned heavy into the alt-country and Americana territories. My Heart is a delightful diversion into the more elaborate and developed mix of singer/songwriter Matt Ammerman’s and his band’s capability—in just five songs—to give you crisp songwriting that’s colored beautifully with picture painting lyrics telling tales of love, pain, joy, grief and celebration and teaming with cloud-nine keyboard meanderings and a rhythm section that on “Other Life Forms” for example, made me wish that all second-hand plumes could be this sweet to my soul.
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// Notes from the Road
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