Home > Music Reviews > Album Review: 1,2,3 New Heaven

Album Review: 1,2,3 New Heaven

Find the album at: |French Kiss|Amazon|I Tunes|

Upon interning in the field of music marketing, it’s refreshing to work with a band that you thoroughly enjoy. You don’t have to think of what “markets” and “demographics” the group will appeal to, you can just plug in your headphones and enjoy.

Likewise, when you’re writing about their tracks  you aren’t “promoting” them–you are simply sharing them–you are simply excited about their music and you want your friends to take part in the same toe tapping, head nodding, frenzy that you are caught up in.

That’s exactly how I feel about the group 1,2,3 and their debut album New Heaven. I’m truly just diggin’ the whole thing and I’m hoping you’ll dig it too.

They have a sound that crosses numerous genres. Indie fans will enjoy it for it’s unorthodox composition and raw vocals, alternative folks will love it for it’s rock-centric nature and electronica listeners can even appreciate it for it’s subtle electronic nuances that are found in each track.

So, after that lengthy introduction I guess you can assume that the Pittsburgh duo has been turning many heads with their debut album–and that assumption would be correct.

The album fittingly starts off with the blue collared anthem Work, which displays Nick Snyders falsetto vocals that are amplified with subtle electronics and spot on percussion.

The surging arrangement of Work is reminiscent of groups such as Arcade Fire who have made similar “anthem” style tracks their stock and trade.

10 minutes into the album listeners are met with the song Heat Lighting where Snyder, again, hits us with a whispering falsetto that flickers in and out of the track–a style that can be compared to a hi-fi Animal Collective–the track is also met with impressive vocalizations and a catchy whistling back beat that gives it a unique flavor.

Just as the singing seemed to flicker, the song ultimately diminishes out and fades into the sound of ocean waves.

Despite the comparison to Animal Collective and Arcade Fire–1,2,3 certainly didn’t create an album intended to be a nod to their favorite indie trends. The group is far too creative and enthusiastic for that. Each track off of New Heaven is produced masterfully and incorporates effects such as whistling, ocean waves, and synths that carry the song and spotlight instruments rather than becoming distracting or a novelty.

The lyrical content is also certainly something to take note of.

Sure, it has a central theme: drinking, girls, and being “broke as ever”, but it’s raw rather than repetitive.

I feel as if the group combined indie rock’s unconventional composition, folk rock’s gritty lyrical content–added a dash of spot on production–and out came New Heaven. 

A few good examples of the groups “gritty” and “raw” lyrical content are found in Lonesome Boring Summer where Snyder references “the carcass of his mid-twenties.” Or in Wave Pool where Snyder cites Brian Wilson’s infamous fear of the ocean and delivers the whole piece in the form of a suicidal love letter–played flawlessly over a Beach Boys inspired melody.

It’s 1,2,3’s innovative and enthusiastic song writing combined with catchy melodies that make New Heaven a great album to pick up.

It has all the markings of a great listen. It’s produced wonderfully, and has that continuity that makes it listenable from start to finish–each track building upon the other.

So, check it out! It’s certainly an amazing debut piece that leaves us wanting more from the Pittsburgh natives.

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