Love Won Another

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Producer/songwriter Gavin Hardkiss' first album under the Hawke name in over three years, Love Won Another has the same sunny, feel-good vibe as its two predecessors, but it brings some new musical elements into the mix. Sounding like a much less dour version of some of the Canadian post-rock bands swirling around the axis of Godspeed You Black Emperor! combined with the indie-kid mix'n'match aesthetic of early Saint Etienne, Love Won Another is built on acid-groovy house rhythms, but the songs seamlessly incorporate acoustic guitars, live percussion, vintage keyboards, the sonic spaciousness of classic dub, and subtle world music influences to create a sparkling, at times giddy take on contemporary dance music. Varied and endlessly appealing, the songs are the best Hardkiss has yet written, given clever, inventive arrangements and sweetly wide-eyed vocals. If Boards of Canada were stripped of their layers of irony and deliberately unsettling atmospherics, their records would sound very much like this playful delight.

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