Candy Hearts - Acoustic Hearts [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Candy Hearts

Acoustic Hearts [EP] (2015)


Last year, Candy Hearts took some of their time between recording/touring/life to record an acoustic EP featuring two new songs and three acoustic versions of tracks from 2014's All the Ways You Let Me Down.  The concept was to record songs the way that Candy Hearts typically writes music - first dropping a "skeleton" featuring only an acoustic guitar and stripped-down vocals and then filling in with everything else later.

First off, the two new tracks, "I Want to Hate You" and "In and Out" sound good.  Of the two, "In and Out" is the stronger, but for acoustic renditions, they're both solid songs that will undoubtedly get better once they're released as a full-band effort with electric guitar, bass, and, most importantly, drums.  Two of the other three, "Brooklyn Bridge" and "Something's Missing" easily survive the translation back from electric to acoustic.  "Top of Our Lungs" sounds like something was lost in translation to the acoustic medium and this version feels like some of the heart and emotion were softened in this version.  

The bottom line is if you like Candy Hearts, you'll enjoy this album.  With the loss of production, Mariel's voice sounds better and her skill as a singer/songwriter becomes more apparent than on the electric albums.  They managed to replicate that acoustic open-mic night feeling at your favorite coffee house while still maintaining that catchy, emotional sound you've come to expect.  I'm a bit miffed they didn't include "Michigan" but the album still overall succeeds as a glimpse into Candy Hearts' typical songwriting process with the added bonus of including two new songs.