Meet Candy Hearts: the missing piece of the pop-punk puzzle.
"I wear my loneliness like an old T-shirt that doesn't really fit me," sings Mariel Loveland on "Matchbox Cars," the second track off Candy Hearts' The Best Ways To Disappear EP. The indie-punk foursome sound as sweet as their name (think a more overtly sensitive Paramore). And if you're at all prone to exploring your #feelings, you'll be a goner as soon as you hit play on their first edgily contemplative EP (we feel like the record's throwback alternative vibe is begging for a spin on the turntable, or ::gasp:: CD player -- vive la '90s!).
Listen to Candy Hearts after the jump.
Blonde-streaked lead singer Mariel Loveland, aka that chick every music guy probably had a major crush on in high school, initially comes off as a musical Frankensteinian design, channeling Rilo Kiley's vulnerable vocals, playing Green Day's three-chord song structure, and radiating The Donnas' DGAF attitude. But she's hardly derivative -- in fact, the thing we love most about Candy Hearts is their ability to breath new life into the mid-to-late '90s distortion-based pop punk. Think about all those bands you miss: (Dookie-era) Green Day, Dressy Bessy, The Weakerthans, The Promise Ring, and Jawbreaker -- their heyday lives on in Candy Hearts.
After unveiling their full-length debut, Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy in 2011, the quartet teamed up with Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory (who apparently reached out to Mariel via Twitter -- anything can happen, guys!) to release The Best Ways To Disappear. On the painfully aware "Bad Idea," Candy Hearts toe the Taylor Swift "I Knew You Were Trouble." line: "But you’re a bad idea and I know it.You’re a bad idea and I know it. Well, I will do it anyway; my heart won’t listen to my brain," sings Mariel. Well, we swear this isn't the '90s-early '00s nostalgia talking, but we hope Candy Hearts inspires a return to the "Nothing Gold Can Stay" days of pop-punk yore. Now, where did we put our Epitaph Punk-O-Rama CD collection??
+ Listen to Candy Hearts.
Photo credit: Violently Happy Records/Bridge Nine Records