featureYou know those songs that just get stuck in your head all the time, the ones that you wake up singing to yourself before your feet even hit the floor? I love those. They’re songs that just “get me” in such a visceral way. They understand me, they know what I need, and they give it to me – one chorus or refrain at a time. The latest addition to my internal playlist is actually two songs: “Faultlines” and “Never Let You Go” by San Francisco indie quintet HEARTWATCH, off their new self-titled album, out February 26th.

So, why these two songs? I’m so glad you asked.

It’s not just that these two songs share the same beautiful indie pop spirit that I find myself gravitating towards these days, it’s more than vocalist Claire George’s intonations – bringing every ooh and ahh to life – it’s how sonically connected these two songs are. When you listen to them back-to-back, which is easy to do as the band as conveniently placed them first and second on the track listing, the line between the two is so blurred I often find myself well into Track 2 before I’ve realized what’s happened. Where “Faultlines” ends, “Never Let You Go” picks up perfectly, the literal and metaphorical bridge between the two halves; where “Faultlines” proclaims, “Meet me in the middle of the golden gate, and our love will stay between the ocean and the Bay”, “Never Let You Go” answers with, “Pick your heart up up / even if its bleeding / its not beatin’ alone”.

HEARTWATCH doesn’t linger here though, the next track, “Bored At Best”, starts off low and synthy and never looks back. The album’s variety is a testament to the band’s and producer Damien Lewis’s vision, from the poppiness of the openers to middle’s synthyness, to these great little guitar breakdowns in a latter track, “Gone Too Long”.

This may only be the band’s second album, but their history together has lent a well-defined vision to their music, and has set the stage for where to go from here. My only wish would be to get HEARTWATCH together with their spiritual NYC cousins, Rocket & The Ghost, I would love to see what those two bands could do together.

While HEARTWATCH is teasingly short at only six songs, it’s everything I want in an album. Listening to I can’t help but be transported back in time, to a trip to San Francisco that seems like a lifetime ago – these six songs are all I would’ve needed back then, and they’re all I need now.


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Chief Of All The Things at Emo At Heart
Josh is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Emo At Heart.