Sondre Lerche – Heartbeat Radio
by Michelle Buchman (English), published September 9th 2010
Released in 2009, Heartbeat Radio is the sixth studio album from Sondre Lerche, a Norwegian born signer-songwriter who now calls Brooklyn, NY his home. His music may be most recognizable to the public as the basis for the soundtrack of the film Dan in Real Life. Lerche has the uncanny ability to merge genres in his songs, effortlessly bouncing between breezy jazz, rock, indie rock and folk-pop. The album, much like Sondre’s entire catalog, has something for everyone on it.
The record’s opener ‘Good Luck,’ slowly builds up from acoustic guitar to a crescendo of strings, while other songs such as ‘Heartbeat Radio’ express the frustration Lerche himself feels about the state of FM radio. The song has a catchy indie pop refrain that will get stuck in your head quickly. Another standout track, ‘I Cannot Let You Go,’ sounds almost like an 80s indie song with its melancholy tone and reverberating background vocals. The album doesn’t flow smoothly the whole way through, however. ‘If Only’ falls flat with its attempt at merging a indie/hip-hop beat in the background while Lerche sings. The song is a wrench thrown into the midst of the album, and disrupts the feel of an otherwise delightfully poppy record. Also the melodic ballad in the middle of the track order, ‘Pioneers,’ would fit better as one of the last songs you hear. While the flow of the album feels a bit disjointed compared to previous efforts by Sondre Lerche, it is worth a listen to anyone looking for upcoming talent in the indie world. Heartbeat Radio sounds like the record fit for the autumn season with breezy melodies and lyrics that you can get lost in.
Recommended Tracks: Heartbeat Radio, Don’t Look Now, Like Lazenby