Candy Hearts - The Best Ways to Disappear (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Candy Hearts

The Best Ways to Disappear (2012)

Bridge Nine Records / Violently Happy Records

Candy Hearts are the first act to work with Chad Gilbert's new label, Violently Happy Records. Not only that, but Gilbert produced their debut for the label, The Best Ways to Disappear. So the EP is the opening salvo from the young label, and if it's any indication of what's to come, both the band and the label are destined to become big names.

The band sounds great here. Gilbert did a great job on production here, with everything sounding crisp and clear, particularly singer/guitarist Mariel Loveland's excellent vocals. Her singing has grown more confident-sounding since their debut album, Ripped Up Jeans & Silly Dreams, dropped in 2010. She sounds excellent here, and the lyrics are great portraits of being lovesick and heartbroken. The band clearly takes a fair amount of influence from '90s alt rock, and there's a strong vibe of that–most notably, the Lemonheads–throughout the EP, particularly on one of the disc's highlights, "Miles and Interstates."

"Bad Idea," the opener and single (check it out here) relates the all-too-familiar tale of wanting to be with someone even when you know it's not the best call. The disc motors along with the indie-pop-punk of "Matchbox," the aforementioned "Miles and Interstates" and "Replacements Parts." Things take a quieter turn from the rockers with the mostly-acoustic "Sick of It," which ends with the band jumping in for a final chorus that sets up the fantastic, irresistibly catchy closer "Ticklish." That chorus, good heavens.

There are hooks galore throughout the six songs on this EP. Chorus and verses will get firmly lodged in heads for days. This band has never sounded better, and the songwriting is consistently great. As the debut for their new label, and the new label's debut, this couldn't be a stronger showing. Highly recommended.