Video Premiere: “Summertime III” by Smaller Hearts

Smaller Hearts is a new project comprised of a familiar duo. Nova Scotia’s Ron Bates and Kristina Parlee have been producing a distinct brand of synth pop under the name of Homo Duplex for a number of years. Following an output of releases including singles and EPs dating back to 2010, as well as live appearances spanning SappyFest to Halifax Pop Explosion, the songwriting of Bates/Parlee has taken a recent stylistic swerve into moodier territory, and the new approach has garnered a unique creative vehicle in both make and model.

Smaller Hearts is the new musical mechanism, and the video premiere of their track “Summertime III” is an alluring introduction to a debut album due on May 18th.

Admittedly, Homo Duplex began as a songwriting exercise with the intent of breaking creative habits. Each composition would begin “by drawing adjectives out of a hat: fast, slow, long, short, loud, quiet”, each song solidified by “sticking to the results”.

In the spirit of breaking habits, the songwriting dyad of Bates/Parlee found a proliferation of material that didn’t quite sit soundly with their familiar formula. The songs of Smaller Hards began to take hold, and the flowering of an unequivocal approach to mesmerizing electronic pop could not be denied.

“Summertime III” is a hover craft of hook-laden new wave sentiment. It feels like an afternoon upswing to a gloomy morning; a much needed pick-me-up after heavy contemplation. Thoughtful, focused and excellently executed. Smaller Hearts’ debut adheres closely with a slow Atlantic spring thaw-out as it melts away layered compositions of petulant pop.

Maintaining an earnest and streamlined avenue to capturing a fresh flare of musical ingenuity, the eponymous Smaller Hearts release was self-recorded using “one laptop, one microphone, and two synthesizers”. The album was mastered by Bob Weston of Shellac and Mission of Burma and is set to drop on May 18th, 2018.

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