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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 205 - 05/25/13

Cold Mailman
Heavy Hearts
Beyond Records

Heavy Hearts is Cold Mailman's 3rd album, following 2010's Relax; the Mountain Will Come to You. Ivar Bowitz is the chief mailman, being the vocalist and songwriter. With (most) members hailing from Bodø in Northern Norway, they've been put in this 'new Bodø wave' bag, alongside Kråkesølv and Kollwitz.

The band label their music 'Postapocalyptic-surf-emo-pop'. Well, it's quite obvious this is emotional pop music. Some of the songs make me think of Prefab Sprout, while others are reminiscent to Death Cab for Cutie. Or maybe not...? Norwegian band Lukestar could be another point of reference, even though Lukestar singer Truls' vocals are pitched to the sky and beyond. Heavy Hearts shows a well-orchestrated pop band presenting well-arranged songs. They're quite clearly an ambitious and starry-eyed sextet, but they tend to (at least to my pair of ears) create a bit too much sugar-coated and plushed sound universe. It's quite comforting then to experience the ragged and rough intermezzo halfway through "I Was Wrong". On the other hand "Returnity", with its saxophone 'solo', just reminds me that I'm allergic to saxophones in pop and rock... Sorry. It's just a fact. It's a matter of taste.

I really want to like Cold Mailman and Heavy Hearts, and I do enjoy some tracks, such as "My Recurring Dream", "Mountaineer's Foot", and "Future Ex". I do like Ivar Bowitz' vocals, and Catharina Sletner adds a fine 'double/backing vocal'. Heavy Hearts is about love, or maybe love-hurts, or even broken love. Nothing wrong with that -- it's the eternal theme through the history of pop. I guess what I find somewhat troublesome is that Heavy Hearts (for me) is an '1980s album', but without the (quite often) despised sound. Sorry, maybe I'm just cold-hearted.

Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Cold Mailman articles/reviews: Everything Aflutter, Relax; the Mountain Will Come to You.

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