"Rock 'n' roll" is how Noel Heroux described one of these eMusic Selects alums' songs at a recent Brooklyn show captured by NYCTaper. The Hooray for Earth frontman's choice of words was counterintuitive; ever since forming in Boston six years ago, this now-New York-based band has actually been moving away from what's typically considered rock music, downplaying the grungy guitars found on their early releases in favor of warm, woozy synths. Last year's fine Momo EP was a case in point. And on their debut LP, True Loves, Hooray for Earth's metamorphosis from mere rockers-with-synths achieves its fullest realization yet.
As the likes of MGMT, Passion Pit and Yeasayer have shown, electronics-inflected psych-pop has become the starting point for rock 'n' roll with crossover appeal these days. True Loves steps right to the edge of that festival-friendly movement, setting the chillwave microgenre's washed-out keys and mournful vocals atop pounding, clattering percussion and rumbling bass. Though the lyrics are often indistinct, what sets True Loves apart are its soaring melodic hooks, some of which are bolstered by sister duo Zambri. The title track has a reggae lilt, "No Love" blasts horn samples and "Sails" dons goth lipstick, but each of them could inspire fist-pumping multitudes. Plus, if these guys ever get the girl in an '80s movie, the triumphantly cheesy love anthem "Bring Us Closer Together" could play over the end credits.