Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts Ohaboy album review

Ohaboy by Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts

“I’ll take you back again if you give me everything/and if everything’s anything, then I want it all” is repeated for a full minute in the opening track. Eventually, it yields to more lyrics demanding surrender and desire, plus a decisive beat and a hint of 80s influence. So opens an album that prioritises exploring sounds and providing a solid aural background in favour of complex lyricism.

Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts

Howl at the Moon is more contemporary indie in sound, all pulsing vocal and deliberate pronunciation. Next we get a steady and decisive rock song with a singular message: “you’re old enough to know better.” Ghosts is similarly centred around a repeated stanza. A handful of reverberating notes and vocal touches show some promises, but they’re ephemeral like the titular spectres.

Overpass is engagingly upbeat, understanding and ultimately encouraging: “life can get so low/please hold on…I feel like I’m losing my mind/everything’s just fine.” The jaunty beat picks up any moment of darkness.

Moonlit Ride pops with bass, synth and sincerity. It’s followed by Big 3, a vocally driven track with a lovely sound. Then we get a joyful retro pop tune, Heaven Knows.

We get a Dire Straits style bassline for Life Is (Hard Enough). It’s a gentle, midnight plea for connection. I Don’t Really Care For You explores the opposite impulse. It’s peppy but wounding

The record ends with the time-honoured trope of a girl’s name song: “Hannah, didn’t I tell you it will be alright?/No more nightmares waking you in the middle of the night.” The final sentiment feels fitting and romantic: “I’ll never let you dance alone again.”

Ohaboy by Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts is out now.

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