It’s a rare talent to be able to write music that a listener hears more in his body than in his ears, but when an album like that comes along, I like to drink it in until it fills me up and sloshes around inside me a little. And so it is with Marie Hines newest EP, HeartCrash.
The young Nashville singer/songwriter has seen early critical success with her debut album, Worth the Fight, and the live follow-up, The Living Room Sessions, but despite its brevity, HeartCrash seems to carry more weight, to linger on one’s mind and in one’s heart, each song ebbing in and out like the tide.
“Hammer” trickles in lightly, beginning the album with a quiet forlornness. By the time Marie’s telltale string quartet sweeps in and takes up the instrumental bridge, the story is clear and wrenching, lyrics like “You never think your lover’s words could kill you, and you can’t foresee the blow that is your last” painting a striking, desolate picture.
The title track struts in a way that Hines has not explored in previous efforts. Written not out of love or loss of love, but out of anger, “HeartCrash” boasts an unpredictable melody reminiscent of Regina Spektor’s newer work and a feminine brazenness that recalls Sara Bareilles’ singles.
“Mending” is without doubt the biggest step forward on HeartCrash. The tune begins delicately, showcasing Marie’s velvety piano and penchant for lithe, ardent lyrics, but the beat pounds like a quickened heart and the dynamics exude a sense of urgency and fervor. An instrumental section plaits a 3/4 rhythm and a 4/4 rhythm seamlessly, building them up to a burst of rapturous, symphonic color and sound.
The golden, glowing “Perfect Kiss” is a breezy, infectious tune that acts as a divine snapshot of a couple in the throes of love, the most memorable lyric, “You would sink to the depths of the sea still breathing my name.”
And “Poison in the Well” is a yearning, lamenting tune about forgetting the past that calls forth a churning melody and desperate vocals with lyrics like, “How many times did I try to sever ties between us? How many times did I try to tell the lies to leave us, leave us, leave us be?”
I’ve been a big advocate of Marie Hines since I heard Worth the Fight a little over a year ago, but HeartCrash is converging on bolder, more seasoned territory. Give it a listen and let the current do the rest.
And now that you’re convinced, buy the EP here on Amazon. As always, you’re welcome.