Burning Hearts

Into the Wilderness

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Burning Hearts combine the icy textures of synth pop with the warm heart of indie pop better than almost anyone in the 2000s, as evidenced on their debut LP from 2009, Aboa Sleeping. A couple (excellent) singles later, the duo of Henry Ojala and Jessika Rapo returned in 2011 with the four-song EP Into the Wilderness, and it does absolutely nothing to spoil their sterling track record. The songs blend lovely melodies, Rapo’s vocal harmonies, and wonderfully layered production into a candy-sweet but quite melancholy 12 minutes. "The Swallows" is the most memorable of the tracks, with bongos, handclaps, and an almost bouncing beat contrasting well with the minor-key melody. The other three aren’t far behind, though, and by the end of the record you’re left wishing the band worked a little faster. Another six songs and they would have had a record that was the equal of Aboa Sleeping, and that would have been a very welcome development. As it stands, Into the Wilderness works well as a stopgap release and serves as a great example of why Burning Hearts are one of the best synth pop groups around.

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