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Beaty Heart – Mixed Blessings

Album review

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Our guest editor this week is Marcus Harris, a long-time music promoter in London working at the famous White Heat club night at Madame Jojo’s in Soho, along with co-running Snap.Crackle.And.Pop at Birthdays and Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. He also runs his own blog, Mint Magazine.

I’ve always had a soft spot for South London natives Beaty Heart, from the early house parties to watching them recreate that ravey atmosphere across London’s basements (even a couple of my own over the years), and even interviewing them on occasion. It’s been an interesting, and at times bizarre, ride to watch.

They’ve seen band members and managers come and go, they’ve been ‘the’ buzz band, blog-hype fodder, and a part of many of my own and, I’d imagine, many others ‘inward adventures’. But in those five years we only saw a handful of singles, albeit through the possible use of format, but an album was slow to materialise.

Until now… Beaty Heart’s debut, Mixed Blessings, is set to land on the 12th May in all of the swirling psychedelic glory that you never thought possible from a pop album. Thematic comparisons can be drawn to the Beach Boys and contemporaries Jungle, who they’ll be heading out on tour with across UK/Europe/USA throughout May and June. Though where those artists scratched the tip of the iceberg, Beaty Heart have ventured into its crystalline heart.

Mixed Blessings manages to eclipse whatever previous expectations you might have of Beaty Heart, taking their off-kilter electronic psychedelia to its contemporary conclusion and in the process robbing the modern imitators of said genre to any right to its label. It’s an album that continuously runs rings around your imagination like some surreal tripped-out merry-go-round. Tracks move in circles, loops returning with an odd sense of familiarity but ever so slightly different. There’s something carnival-esque about its tone, and it should come with a warning that those in the first few rows will get wet owing to the liquefying samples that permeate the record.

In short, Mixed Blessings is a mollied-out joyride through the very real possibilities of psychedelic pop, finding success through a vast and bizarre array of sounds and samples, none of which remotely resemble the sounds that have monopolised the definition of the genre in recent years. Beaty Heart’s debut album ‘Mixed Blessings’ is released through Nusic Sounds & Caroline on 12th May.

Marcus Harris

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