Every once in a while it’s nice to get a dose of some fresh and upbeat pop, this time courtesy of Toronto via London group hue.
Starting Fires takes on multiple meanings for this five-piece group. In the title track, lead singer Danny Patton sings “What were you thinking, starting fires? Were you trying to reach the stars?” It’s clear that hue is aiming higher with their sophomore release, and for the most part they succeed.
One thing that sets this band apart is their focus on keys over guitars. Indeed, the first song “You Will Be” starts out sounding like it could be a piano ballad. No song ever stays too slow, though, which is a good thing. The song “Follow” is an outstanding example of how piano can be used creatively. In that song the piano gives the song a music-box quality.
“You Will Be” also shows that the band has great group vocals. It’s a shame they don’t use them in every song, as it’s a great strength of theirs. You can also hear their group vocals in the very strong ending song “The Bump” which also features great keys.
On occasion, the band also includes synths, such as in the songs “Try” and “Modern Anthem.” It adds to the absolutely joyous quality that exists in pretty much every song of Starting Fires.
The only weakness I can see in the album is its lyrics. While catchy, some of the lyrics are a little plain. That aside, their melodies are refreshing and “The Bump” has been stuck in my head for at least an hour now.
Check out their website for more info on the album.
Top Tracks: “Try”; “The Bump”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)