Broken Heartbreakers
The Broken Heartbreakers have a new album out and it’s a beauty. If you were familiar with their two previous albums of classic 60s-styled folk-in-pop-clothing you’d expect that. But you may not expect what this new one “How we got to now” serves up. Here’s “Breaking Branches” from the album:

The recording captures the space in the songs and sound of the (12-string) guitars is as exquisite as the voices.

Vocal’s are shared between songwriters Rachel Bailey and John Howell. Both have rich, smooth, warm voices which work perfectly together. Rachel Bailey’s vocals have always been a highlight of the Broken Heartbreakers. Here they have all the depth and smooth and smokey Celtic intrigue of a fine Western Isles single malt whiskey. Another fine example of that is the goose-bumps singing starting “Somebody Please”.

There’s plenty of variety on this album and things which are little different and outside what you might expect from the band. The opening track – “My Sense of Wonder” – sets out the stall for the album. A beautiful melodic beginning, those voices, and a song with some unexpected twists as it gradually mutates through a half-whispered-half-mumbled section before unfurling an unexpected freak-flag in the form of one of the most outrageous psychedelic-experimental guitar solos you’ll hear this side of a King Loser album.

Further on “More Than Most” – another unexpected brief and spoken-word gem – places them firmly in their natural Dunedin habitat of North East Valley. It’s these little touches and the album’s sense of the songwriters’ life journey together which makes “How we got to now” a bit special.