When Your Heartstrings Break

It's the sound of things coming together perfectly, of dappled prairie meeting blue sky....

When Your Heartstrings Break

8 / 10 It's the sound of things coming together perfectly, of dappled prairie meeting blue sky. And it's been a long time coming: recent years have witnessed the sun-drenched '60s jingling of the likes of [a]Apples In Stereo[/a] and The Olivia Tremor Control become increasingly hip in US quarters. Yet for all the praise these releases have rightly earned for resuscitating the bits of The Beatles that Oasis overlooked, not one record has stood triumphantly alone.

Enter Beulah, a scruffy assortment of former mailboys who earned the Apples' seal of approval with the demos for their first LP. This is their second: overall, it suggests perky Beach Boy Mike Love flirting with 'Revolver'-era Fabs, as Elephant Six regulations require. But despite their love affair with that much-plundered era, it's Beulah's coy glances towards the Velvets, the Voices and beyond that set them apart.

So wistful tunes like 'Ballad Of The Lonely Argonaut' invoke Pavement's loopy jags as much as the haze of West Coast psychedelia, while the beguiling wheezes of 'Emma Blowgun's Last Stand' betray a secret affinity with fellow California dreamers Grandaddy. Add to this joyful collision of low technology and high spirits 18 additional accordions, violins and harps, and you have the unmistakable sound of synchronicity, of heartstrings swelling fast.

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