The Dark Romantics. The name in ninetieth-century America referred to a literary sub-genre under which names like Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson and Nathaniel Hawthorne fell. These dark romantic authors were defined by a pessimistic view of the natural world as a place that is “dark, decaying, and mysterious.” These days we know The Dark Romantics as the brainchild of indie rock maven, Eric Collins (ex-Denison Marrs, The Party People), and he picks up where his forefather’s left off with the bands’ stunning sophomore release, Heartbreaker.
Heartbreaker (Lujo Records) hits streets September 9th and is 13 tracks of dark, sexy, transcendental rock and roll. Building on themes of love, pain and – well -- heartbreak, the album boasts the most impressive vocals we’ve seen from Collins so far, who’s been compared to A.C Newman (New Pornographers) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead). His brooding vox is matched with eclectic instrumentation. An engaging and carefully crafted string section works it’s way into the mix as well. “Heartbreaker differs from past records in that it’s much more dark, and much more romantic,” says Collins, “it’s is a complete thought with different dynamics and moods.”
As is true of past records, there’s no shortage of superlative song-writing here. Songs like, “Love and Pain”, “Hush Your Mouth”, and “Let’s Ride” (MP3) are epic, but accessible, driving their way into your head by way of sheer catchiness. “The Dark Romantics’ first album was a collection of older songs from other projects and new songs that we wrote on our own and then brought into the studio,” explains Collins. “This time Dean and I wrote together, from start to finish. We were completely honest with each other for the sake of the song, and it worked out well.”
We think you’ll agree.
Collins continues with a sentiment not far off from The Dark Romantics of centuries past: “We went through a time of depression before starting The Dark Romantics because we weren’t doing what we love. We make music because we have to.” Unlike their forefathers, however, these dark romantics leave their pessimistic bent behind, turning heartbreak into possibly the most beautiful record of 2008.