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Cherry Head Cherry Heart Cherry Head Cherry Heart
Album: Tarred & Feathered
Label: Shoebox
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.cherryheadcherryheart.com

Cherry Head Cherry Heart have come a fair distance since their days as a tribute to the Beautiful South. Following on from their last release Chihuahua Deluxe, for the new album the duo of Andy Johnson and Naomi Lowe have eschewed the low-fi punky pop for a more expansive sound. While a love of pop music infuses the album, there is so much more going on here, with indie, hip hop and country all adding to the overall mix.

The entire album is a joyful selection of catchy ear-worm music, about as infectious as a common cold. This is perfectly encapsulated by their single, Road To Rome, which bounds along like an over-excited puppy. With its repeat references to Christmas Eve it could conceivably be called a Christmas song (others have been called so with less reason), but feels far more like a summer festival anthem. It's been getting a lot of airplay and it's easy to see why.

So Much More is the next single for release, and comes out next month. It's the closest song in spirit to their origins, sounding like Beautiful South crossed with The Shins, both lyrically and musically (though How Much Longer runs it close). It's another irrepressible track with a highly effective duet between Johnson and Lowe.

Coming at around the midway mark, Lake Geneva is quite a departure compared with the songs around it. Featuring vocals from Trix-C, it's a lovely little hip-hop pop number which will leave you humming along long after the track has finished. Elsewhere we have the sole cover on the album, an excellent poppy version of the Hoodoo Guru's Bittersweet, and a title track with a little house music vibe to it.

Tarred & Feathered is going to go a long way towards helping Cherry Head Cherry Heart break out in their own right, as purveyors of the finest in indie pop anthems. While they still cleave somewhat closely to the sound of The Beautiful South (and will even be supporting The Southmartins later this year), their own personalities shine out making this more of a unique listening experience. If you like your music deliciously contagious, this is the album for you.

Adam Jenkins