After kicking goals with their stellar debut, In The Midst Of This, Sydneysiders Expatriate would take some inspiration from their namesake. They’d relocate to Berlin and plug their album while playing to a whole new fan-base. It was an experience that was full of opposites or plain old ups and downs like warm summers and freezing winters when they were used to experiencing the alternative. And these encounters are the ones that ultimately colour both their second album’s title and content.
On Hyper/Hearts the boys wanted to capture the sounds and sonic trickery they love about other artists’ music. This meant they would set about painting much more detailed backgrounds into their songs. The result is 11 full-sounding tracks that come dolled to the nines and brimming with bells and whistles. These mostly fit in the camp of dark, electro pop music although occasionally it is also the sort of indie rock music you can dance to (think like Franz Ferdinand and others).
‘Miracle Mile’ immediately captures the listener’s attention by forcing them to bop along to some catchy guitars that aren’t so pretty that they avoid containing a bunch of grit. The following ‘By Design’ is all about dancing around to the kind of beat you’d normally associate with a band like The Cure. But this is then mixed with music that is more reminiscent of The Killers, had they undergone a scary encounter or two and then the guys just want to dance away their troubles in merry old Madchester on ‘Love Away’.
But the highlight of the set is definitely the single, ‘Do You Remember’. The track is perfect as it sees nostalgic lyrics combined with catchy and futuristic synth lines. The result is something that sounds not unlike The Temper Trap thanks to its soaring chorus. It’s a different feel from ‘On The Inside’ which is much grungier. It’s possible that the latter was flavoured by the experience of touring with Placebo, as you can definitely hear elements of the English band’s sound here.
On Hyper/Hearts Expatriate are like an awesome foursome of wizards returning to Oz. They come armed with plenty of ideas that are the result of lessons learned and information gleaned from the electro scene in Berlin. In short, Hyper/Hearts is full of expansive and complex beats inspired by their own strange, fruitful and exciting experiences abroad that it’ll force you to sit up and remember your own travels and good times.
Originally published on 9 March 2013 at the following website: http://www.thedwarf.com.au/album_review/expatriate-hyperhearts-1
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