The thing so great about Candy Hearts' sophomore effort All The Ways You Let Me Down is that, taken as a break-up album, it's pretty brutal. Frontwoman Mariel Loveland follows the story from meeting to aftermath in an immersive and deeply emotional way that leaves no stone unturned. But, at the same time, it's presented in such an uplifting way in the form of an album that's destined to be one of the albums of the summer, and every summer after that. Its pop-punk, 90's indie, emo and pop blending, forming the sort of sound that makes the sun's rays just that bit warmer. Expertly produced by Chad Gilbert, it's an album that tells you things are hard but also that they'll probably be alright too.
The One To Get Me Out is two and a half minutes of acceptance and doubt that's both as heavy hitting as it is sonically sweet on the ears. The title track's pure pop chorus reminds of, in quite a remarkable combination, Taylor Swift mixed with Pavement while Coffee With My Friends is akin to 90's feel-good college rock you'd find on the American Pie soundtracks. As a trio, the band make an impressively full sound, Loveland's swiftly changing guitar work being particularly great, from driving rhythms to softer acoustic stylings, even dropping a subtly ripping solo in Playing With Fire. John Clifford's bass work, with an air of Tell All Your Friends-era Taking Back Sunday in its peaks and troughs, also gives the album a real atmospheric quality. A vocal trade off with New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik on the deeply poignant Something's Missing is another great addition. All of these great aspects come to an ultimate head in Top Of Our Lungs, straight-up the best album closer of 2014 so far. It accepts all the highs and all the difficulties in the exploding firework ether of the end of any kind of relationship, and hits truly moving heights, an ode to acceptance, moving on, and the power of memory. A true stunner of a song.
The current pack of bands in Candy Hearts scene (Neck Deep, Real Friends, Modern Baseball) is unreal in its level of quality and in this album, CH have carved a special place all for themselves, presenting themselves as a truly great new force to be reckoned with, one of the albums of the year under their arms as they go. Get it on the headphones while the sun blazes, it'll make your summer twice as good.