About twice a year I find myself at a random party overhearing the same conversation: “What happened to good song writing? What happened to the song?” It’s at that point names like Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, or Roy Orbison appear and I head back to the keg. I mean, how the hell can any current songwriter’s tunes ever hope to generate the sheer punching power of THOSE legendary heavy weights? Not only does the current pop song writer wrestle with the genre’s historical figures, they must also contend with our shrinking attention spans. Modern pop music is dependent on hooks and purposefully vague anthems—few of us have time for 3 verses worth of plot line, much less a fully developed chorus with a bridge or two.
Fortunately, many excellent song writers are continuing the tradition of penning ‘smart’ pop songs. In fact, we Portlanders get to rub shoulders with some of them regularly, one being Pat Kearns of Blue Skies For Black Hearts. The group’s new album, Serenades and Hand Grenades, is filled with sweetly crafted songs that harken back to the masters of song writing while generating plenty of jangly punching power. This is a band well worth leaning in and taking a closer look, although their songs are rambunctious enough to enjoy from the keg as well.
Blue Skies For Black Hearts celebrate their new disc, Serenades and Hand Grenades, this Friday May 30th in Portland at Holocene.
Post by Jon Ragel