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.

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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