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Eva And The Heartmaker
Let's Keep This Up Forever
Sony Music


Norway's Eva & The Heartmaker create a heartland rock rumble in their tracks reminiscent of Kings Of Leon with rollicking riffs like the folksy ruffles of Sweden's Johnossi on the couple's Sony Music release Let's Keep This Up Forever. The duo of singer-songwriter Eva Weel Skram and her husband, guitarist Thomas Stenersen, is a dynamic pairing that has a symbiotic timing reflective of the UK's The Ting Tings with the sultry searing of Serena Ryder. Produced by Stenersen, Let's Keep This Up Forever has its share of flourishing highs and ruminating pauses, sparse layers and feral bursts, all stemming from a genuine place that endears these songs to the listener's heart.

The songs are frocked in elements of country, folk, rock, adult-pop, and something that makes them breathe in the open air and revel in the freedom of its spatial fields. The couple's songs let listeners stretch out their limbs and relax their minds with sonic spreads that produce open road conditions like in "Let's Hit The Road Jack." Accompanied by Alf Magne Hillestad on drums, Ingar Blix on bass, Lars Kvistum on keyboards, and Anne Marte Nesdal on backup vocals, Eva and Tom create a palatable confection that shows slices of '90s soft pop like The Cardigans and The Corrs which wire "Charming Sexy," joined by influences of contemporary electro-swirled pop fleeting the sonic raptures that pipe through "Possible Escape/Possible Mistake."

The thumping grooves of "Superhero" and "Please!" have a soul-rock vibe and a sultry searing that infuses a flirtatious lilt. The tracks flank "A Potion Of Lust" dressed in flourishes of synth-textured waterfalls leading into the country-tinged "Mississippi" which collapses into a gentle flexing along the melodic swells carting a cortege of satiny strings in the upper register. The album sustains a country-pop sound through the balladry sweeps of "Life Still Goes On" as Eva's vocals plead, "The earth is still moving / The road is still long / We've got ocean's of time / Life still goes on / It's not your fault". The ridges of guitar spikes coursing through "Made Of Honour" add simmering sensations in the track which cool off along the coasting grooves of "The Spell."

Eva and Tom Stenersen mill a contemporary pop album with shards of country, folk and rock that meet middle-of-the-road standards. The album vacillates between stirring the listener's sensory system and relaxing the heartbeat. It's an album that you don't turn down when given as a gift, and one that you won't need someone else to convince you to keep. The songs alone convince you of that.

-Susan Frances

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