Maritime Human Hearts
After releasing three solid indie-pop records, Maritime hadn’t quite escaped the shadow of Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier’s previous group, The Promise Ring. But on the gorgeous Human Hearts, the Milwaukee band finally steps out. The opener, “It’s Casual,” is indicative of the lush, shimmering rockers to follow, bursting forth with a wash of reverb-drenched guitars and von Bohlen’s never-stronger vocals. “Faint Of Hearts” finds the band unexpectedly cribbing some of the texture and lyrics from Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence,” while “Out Numbering” surprises with a chugging new-wave hook and outsized chorus. The rest of Hearts is just as removed from the group’s fussed-over sound of yore, but still stocked with titles that demonstrate von Bohlen’s love for barely-there wordplay (“C’mon Sense,” “Apple Of My Irony”). The album bears all the hallmarks of relaxed, unfettered exploration; it’s a bold, assured effort that finds Maritime definitively stepping out from the shadows of the past and into a new light.