Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird – “Love Is Heartbreak”


On excellent track “Love Is Heartbreak,” Melbourne band Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird channel the sort of husky-voiced, narrative quiver of artists like Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) and Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy). Given that those are some of my favorite songwriters, I was immediately drawn in by the track’s steadily developing beginning — where a faint synth becomes accompanied by twinkling keys, and then a deep vocal presence with a distinctive melodic tone. Witty lyrical contents throughout, the track’s chorus adds some flair with a kids-choir burst amidst the stirring vocal presence. Symphonic flourishes arrive in the subsequent bridge, enveloping the track in chamber-pop bliss before a consuming brass-forward conclusion touts infectious pop charm (with some Destroyer Kaputt vibes). Touting stellar production and reviving a stylistic approach – with witty sophisti-pop allure – that resounds with me, “Love Is Heartbreak” is one I’ve been replaying often.

“Love Is Heartbreak” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of April 2019’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Best Tracks of 2019.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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