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The Search – Heart’s Racing

The Search – Heart’s Racing

They’ve done it again.

Swedish act The Search began life as a lightly gothic, post-punk act reminiscent of The Cure. Since then they have shaken free of that stygian gloom to embrace dreampop, synthpop, and pretty much all pop points between. The band has subsequently contracted down to just core, founder member Razmig Tekeyan. I had heard that they would be expanding back to a ‘full band’ setup real soon. That news was just after our review of Some Place Far Away and just before the covid19 sunk its claws into everyone’s plans for 2020. I believe it is still the case.

Heart’s Racing is the bands eight thousandth album. Okay maybe thirteenth but it certainly is their most sure-footed for some while. On first listen I assumed The Search had already gone back to a full band. The arrangements seem fuller and guitars are more prominent than the previous duo of Some Place Far Away and A Wave From The Sidelines. Those were both exercises in mid-eighties, transatlantic synthpop. Both had their ‘John Hughes movie’ inspired moments but neither fully satisfied. They were also Razmig solo efforts in all but name. (Tekeyan wrote, recorded, and mixed both albums.) Surprisingly (and impressively), this is yet another one-hander.

There are no major departures on Heart’s Racing. As mentioned, guitars are more to the fore but the new album remains poppy and accessible. It’s also enormous. Tekeyan has thrown the kitchen sink at this one. There are still plenty of homages to the eighties, to the MTV ‘Brit invasion’ of the likes of OMD, A Flock Of Seagulls and Modern English. There are also a number of worthwhile acoustic tracks here. In fact the album is overgenerous. At 18 tracks and an hour and a quarter long, this would have been a double album back in the decade to which it is in thrall. I’ll overrun if I attempt to namecheck everything. Instead I’ll pick out a few favourties. ‘Winter’ was a pre-album single (and remains a free download if you want to ‘try before you buy’). ‘Under The Radar’ is another very commercial sounding potential single. ‘Lost’ is a great example of one of those aforementioned acoustic led songs but the crowning jewel for me is ‘When The Stars Align’. I’ve always said, half glibly, half in earnest that The Search were a mixture of The Sound, The Cure and The Church. Squish it all together and you get The Search. They probably left The Cure behind a while ago but ‘When The Stars Align’ sure does put me in mind of The Sound or at least Adrian Borlands solo releases. Indeed Tekeyan has always sung a bit like Steve Kilbey, trading the Church mans cod mysticism for more earthly content. There’s growth here too. Razmigs delivery on ‘Winter’ actually recalls Red House Painters or even Morrissey.

The Search have only gone and done it again. As Heart’s Racing hits it’s back nine there’s simply no let up to the procession of catchy choruses. They’ve literally done it all again. It’s far too much guys but I loved it.

Their best album since The Search For Connection Contact And Community and it is out now.