You know that delightful, intoxicating and ultimately stressful feeling of holding onto a particularly delicious secret? Well today we’re free of the burden of secrecy. Kane Strang has announced his new album, Two Hearts and No Brain, out June 30th on Dead Oceans (that’s us!). We’ve had it on high rotation in the office and we’re ecstatic you get a taste of it today. That’s right! Along with the announcement he’s sharing the new single, “My Smile Is Extinct.” It’s the follow up to lead single, “Oh So You’re Off I See,” his first taste of new music since 2016’s Blue Cheese, which was shared ahead of Kane’s first ever North American tour last month.
Recorded in his hometown of Dunedin at the notoriously haunted Chick’s Hotel studio, Kane teamed up with producer Stephen Marr from trip hop group Doprah for Two Hearts and No Brain. The collaborative result is a razor sharp blend of intelligent alt-rock, bearing the signatures of grunge/alt rock swiftly executed with careful, meticulous precision over 11 tracks. Marr’s influence brings a pristine, retro-futuristic sheen which complements Strang’s perfectionist recording style, sharp melody, and verbose lyrical neuroticism. Taking to well-worn subject matter (heartbreak, loneliness, family) with a disarmingly frank scalpel, Strang’s wryly deadpan lines never miss a beat – the results often sardonic, and always captivating.
Two Hearts and No Brain is pure pop genius from start to finish. It’s hard to imagine who else could convincingly fuse fuzzy synths with slide guitar; crunchy chords with chiming vocals in such a kaleidoscopic pop vision. The album’s cover art, featuring a refracted analogue photograph taken of Kane atop of a rocky precipice; echoes the spirit of lean guitar-pop shining through a truly contemporary, innovative lens. His attention to detail shows up the fat slack present in the work of many of Kane’s contemporaries; yet his sound remains emotive and playfully laced with a tongue-in-cheek nostalgia – timelessly old and new in the same breath.
What sets Kane apart from the rafts of DIY indie songwriters is a willingness to push further. Having mastered the lo-fi aesthetic, he’s stretched his already limber songwriting legs and production chops to new unexpected spaces on Two Hearts and No Brain. Kane’s vision of extending his sound far beyond the bedroom promises international touring and releases the world over. With a live show that exhibits his unpredictable and exhilarating command on stage, Kane’s amassed a band of cohorts to execute his vision with arresting impact, sure to charm crowds with his sideways slant of guitar pop.
2. Silence Overgrown
3. Not Quite
4. Oh So You’re Off I See
5. See Thru
6. Summertime In Your Lounge
7. My Smile Is Extinct
8. Two Hearts and No Brain
9. It’s Not That Bad
10. Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost)
11. Good Guy
Kane Strang UK/EU Tour Dates:
Sat. May 13 – Zurich, CH @ Stall 6 (Lauter Festival)
Mon. May 15 – Manchester, UK @ Gullivers
Tue. May 16 – Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
Wed. May 17 – London, UK @ The Lexington
Thu. May 18 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
Fri. May 19 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
Fri. May 19 – Brighton, UK @ The Mucky Duck (The Great Escape)
Sat. May 20 – Antwerp, BE @ Trix
Mon. May 22 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Tue. May 23 – Paris, FR @ La Mecanique Ondulatoire
Wed. May 24 – Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
Thu. May 25 – London, UK @ Greenman Presents Courtyard at Kings X
Sat. May 27 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Upstairs (London Calling)