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Music Review

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Scarecrow Smile: Home Demos, Volume 1


Artist: Soft Hearted Scientists
My Kung Fu Recordings
RRP: £11.99
Available 28 September 2009

Soft Hearted Scientists come from Wales and comprise of Nathan Hall, Dylan Line, Paul Jones, Michael Bailey and at times, Spencer McGarry.

Scarecrow Smile is their new album, which follows their 2008 album, Take Time To Wonder In A Whirling World.

This album has a very natural feel about it, which I put down to the acoustic guitar being at the forefront of most of the tracks. Some of the songs also have an eeriness about them; maybe this is due to many flat and sharp notes and chords being used as with ‘Scarecrow Smile’, ‘The Midnight Dance Of The Mexican Vampire’ and ‘Garden Song’.

Then there are the tunes that sound quite cheeky and upbeat like ‘Effervesce’, ‘Man Overboard!’ and ‘Out Of The Strong Came Forth Sweetness’. I particularly like the latter with the hire wired sounding synth mixed with handclaps and the acoustic guitar.

‘Twilight Eyes’ is very much the lonesome cowboy song searching for love. I like its catchy tune and the guitar riffs.

The lyrics on this album are quite quirky, I especially like the line from ‘Totem Pole Blues’: "...the tide went out in my bathtub today...’ It’s just different and makes these songs memorable.

On the whole this album is made up of slow beat, acoustic guitar led songs with off keynotes and harmonies that blend well together.

Soft Hearted Scientists certainly put their mark on Scarecrow Smile. With soft and light vocals mixed with the acoustic guitars and some synths. This is certainly folk-pop of the modern day.


Helena Rea

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