Halifax duo Smaller Hearts began as a game. Kristina Parlee and Ron Bates tore up pieces of paper, and on each they wrote a word that could describe a song: slow, fast, quiet, loud, odd time signature, with or without certain instruments, et cetera. Through three albums, these “instructions” distilled into a catchy synth-pop laced with just enough experimentation and discord to keep things interesting.
“Belts and Braces” is about coming to the realization that too much careful planning can actually be counterproductive. There’s an intentional urgency in the bass line; the keyboard part sounds like an alarm, to mirror the anxiety of overthinking. Then, the song comes to a decisive and confident conclusion.
This is the second single in advance of their fourth LP, Rock and Roll Was Here To Stay, which will be released on April 21 via Noyes Records. Embracing nostalgia even as it refutes it, the harmonies soar while synthesizers collide with guitar feedback. Smaller Hearts continue to evolve with a set of songs that are better than ever.