Healamonster & Tarsier - The Heart Of A Blue Whale Is The Size Of A Small Car EP
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Healamonster & Tarsier
The Heart Of A Blue Whale Is The Size Of A Small Car EP

Healamonster and Tarsier are a duo from Brooklyn that create electronic pop music that veers between dense ambience and fractured IDM. Their debut EP 00:00:01 was an entertaining little slab of music that blipped with video game sound effects and somewhat dated programming, but managed to maintain itself with a great sense of humor and some great hooks. The Heart Of A Blue Whale Is The Size Of A Small Car is the second EP from the group and finds them moving into much more assured territory, with a slew of better tracks and much more full production.

Opener "Cycle" is easily the best track the duo has ever done, swirling together fractured dub mixed with breakbeats, strings, pianos, and other thick programming. The result is a dense, gorgeous track that features some great multi-tracked breathy female vocals and nice song dynamics that move from near-silence to rich and full. "Five Days In Maine" mixes strummed guitars, blippy sound effects, and more swirling production alongside male/female vocals. Although the lyrics are a little on the light side, "Cotton Candy (Moonbunny Remix)" again finds Tarsier (the female member of the duo) adding her breathy vocals over a more sparse, but still very lushly-produced piece. It's also during this track that it becomes pretty apparent that the pieces with her vocals stand out as much stronger than those where both members trade off or harmonize. At times (especially during the soaring two-language vocal heights of "Vista"), Tarsier almost manages to channel a less histrionic Bjork.

After the first two-thirds of the album, the final two tracks of the release feel somewhat out-of-place. "Smiling Under Umbrellas" has the same lush feel as other songs on the release, but the jarring vocodered male vocals seem to deflate it from reaching earlier heights and "Shark Hunt" closes the release with a fairly simple 4/4 thump and some reverb-heavy spoken-word samples and other weird sampler-gone-wild ephemera that never quite gels. Overall, the six songs and nearly half-hour of music is definitely a step up for the group from their last release.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-02-09 21:26:22