Beulah, When Your Heartstrings Break

John Wray

By John Wray

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Beulah excels at writing incorrigibly catchy pop anthems for the lovelorn milquetoast in us all, and their second record, When Your Heartstrings Break, is a grand collection thereof. No sophomore slump, this album expands upon the lo-fi sound of their first release with the welcome addition of some 18 guest musicians playing everything from tablas to French horns. At Beulah's core are songwriters (and former mailroom co-workers) Miles Kurosky and Bill Swan, who craft melodic and dreamy tunes that fit perfectly within the canon of their fellow bands in the Elephant 6 posse. Although they obviously share the now-predictable Beatles/Beach Boys fixation of their E6 ilk, Beulah manage to rise above the anxiety of their influences by infusing their songs with wistful humor. Their luscious orchestration shows to delicious effect on the mini-epic "Emma Blowgun's Last Stand," and the title of the final (and best) song on the record, "If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart," sums up the bittersweet humor and longing of Heartstrings.