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The Submarines
Honeysuckle Weeks
Nettwerk Records
www.thesubmarines.com


The Submarines are the husband and wife team of singer-songwriter Blake Hazard and electronic arranger/vocalist John Dragonetti. Their second release Honeysuckle Weeks is an invigorating exposition of alt-pop, neo-folk, and post new wave with songs that will have audiences tapping their feet and smiling ridiculously like kids being silly. Tracks like "Submarine Symphonika" and "You, Me And The Bourgeoisie" have contemporary bell chimes and a sea of pop psychedelics reminiscent of The Flaming Lips. Numbers like "1940" and "Fern Beard" have a bluesy sway skewered by a thong of glockenspiel-toned chimes and colored with swerving gypsy styled violins. The circus-like environment is relatable to Miwa Gemini, and songs like "The Thorny Thicket" and "Maybe" have a post new wave medley with a New Order ring and The Unicorns lightly frothy foliage.

Dragonetti sings lead on the neo-folk tune "The Wake Up Song" featuring scintillating pop psychedelics with its stems founded in the '60s and buds sprouting of a modern variety. The acoustic strings and electro-pop streams of "Swimming Pool" have a sunny pop friction with verses that resound with optimism, "We've got to hold on, the water is rising / Everyone spends a little time fighting the drift back to the deep end / When I asked you to throw me a line / That's when you pulled me out by the heart strings." The floral mix of acoustic-pop and electronic spools on "Xavia" materialize into contemporary psychedelic waves, and the melodic vineyards of "Fern Beard" and "Brightest Hour" have starry embers with the magnetism of The Shins. The songs make you feel happy wandering with them into fairy-like jaunts.

The Submarines new album Honeysuckle Weeks is tastefully done pop. It's cute, sweet and charming without feeling contrived or overly produced. Honeysuckle Weeks follows the couple's debut album Declare A New State. And though comparisons can be made between The Submarines and the indie-pop couple Mates Of State, The Submarines distinguish themselves with a very sunny outlook and fragrant wanderings which display that there is still something to love about living life.

-Susan Frances

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