Cold Beat

Over Me

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On the 2013 single Worms/Year 5772, Hannah Lew sketched out the approach of her post-Grass Widow project Cold Beat, crafting songs with clean, post-punk-inspired lines befitting its namesake (one of the best songs by cult favorites the Sound). By the time Over Me was released, Cold Beat was a full-fledged band with a solid lineup thanks to the addition of Erase Errata's Bianca Sparta. Lew makes the most of this stability by expanding the scope of her songs, which range from "Fatal Bond"'s driving rock to "Abandon"'s delicate balladry to "Mirror"'s winning indie pop. Throughout it all, Lew's aloof vocals create a compelling contrast with the driving sounds around her, giving an ethereal cast to songs like "Collapse" and "Wave," both of which might be almost too catchy if she didn't put some distance between herself and the hooks. Arguably, she uses this aloofness even more effectively on Over Me than she did with Grass Widow; "UV"'s insistent new wave chug and the coldwave-tinged "Rumors" are perfect foils for her crystal-clear delivery and have a more purposeful heft to them than some of her previous band's output. Other standouts include the frosty pop of "Tinted Glass" and the explosion of swelling harmonies and synths that is "Year 5772." Showcasing Cold Beat's versatility as well as its focus, Over Me lets listeners discover more each time they play it -- which should be often.

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