A winning blend of careful precision and mercurial abandon, Kane Strang's new album Two Hearts and No Brain is constantly surprising.
With a penchant for melodic earworms to rival those of the world's best pop songwriters, the New Zealand artist's glittering hooks twist and turn in perfect synch with meticulous band arrangements.
Hints of 60s pop (NB: Zombies, Stooges) and early 00s alt-rock (Interpol, Elliott Smith) shine through, but there's a contemporary crunch, sheen and bald lyrical tone to Strang's sound that places him firmly in the here and now.
"Strang has a gift for pulling diamonds from the rough," says Pitchfork, "[his] songs have a way of making modest acts seem heroic." Strang's proclivity for writing smart, anthemic guitar pop shines brightest now that he has moved away from the bedroom and into the studio.