Album Review: Tart – These Are Not Love Songs

A few months ago we were lucky enough to get a peek at what the Detroit based duo, Tart, had been up to since we first saw them at Secret Friends Fest. “Rabid Dogs” offered a broader, more fleshed out sound that we had hear at SFF filled to the brim with guitar hooks and sleek samples. These Are Not Love Songs allow Zee Bricker and Adam Michael Lee Padden to spread their wings a bit and truly showcase the hard work they’ve put into their craft over that past year and a half.

The pulsating beats of “Buzz” start the EP off right, immediately drawing the listener into Tart’s hypnotizing pull. You’ll find it hard to resist Padden guitar licks that kick the track into high gear around the one minute mark. It’s easy to see why the Detroit duo released “Hello” as a first single off the EP. Garbled riffs dance over an infectious beat, building up until tumbling throughout the chorus. The track is a great example of how much Tart has grown since I first saw them about a year and a half ago.

“Nebraska” takes Tart back to their new wave roots and is the song most likely to get you out of your seat and dancing to the beat. Pulsing synths carry the track as Bricker’s vocals fill your ears with catchy ‘oh oh oh’s.’ “Miss Me” is another build and release track. A repeating beat pulses under Bricker’s quieter than usual vocals before crashing into the frenzied guitar riff on the chorus.

Tart closes out These Are Not Love Songs with a somber number “Stasis.” The instrumentation is simple allowing Bricker’s vocals to take center stage as she shows off some emotion. Tart may have stepped things up by fleshing out their sound more on These Are Not Love Songs, but “Stasis” shows they don’t always need to fill a track with intricate musical layers to prove themselves.

Tart’s continued growth even from “Rabid Dogs” to now is impressive and I’m excited to see where the duo take their music next.

You can pick These Are Not Love Songs up on Amazon, Bandcamp, or iTunes.

Tart is hosting an EP release party this Saturday, July 11th, at New Dodge Lounge.

Tart Concert Poster