A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire Coming Distractions
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Secret Cities: Strange Hearts


Secret Cities

Album: Strange Hearts
Label: Western Vinyl

Community Grade

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


Most of the recent batch of lo-fi, ’60s-inspired albums have studiously recreated the aesthetics of classic psych-pop, but Secret Cities actually captures the innocence and beauty of that music on the new Strange Hearts. Striking a perfect balance of subdued and rousing moments, Strange Hearts is built on a foundation of hypnotically affecting harmonies that echo through a haze of reverb, rolling riffs, and muted drums. “Always Friends” opens with a drifting, vibrant beach-rock throwdown that picks up steam with “No Pressure,” which whirls along with a fun Caribbean vibe that’s both stimulating and relaxing, like a great vacation should be. On the softer side, “The Park” rides a wind of airy vocals into an expansive, moving arrangement. With its unadorned production and blissfully efficient 30-minute running time, Secret Cities is a rich, uniformly charming pastiche. There’s an upbeat, ramshackle liveliness to it all that feels like awakening from a cold, dreamy slumber.