Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Checkered Hearts - Joystick

Now here's a true super duo for you! In the modern world of melody-driven pop music, Lisa Mychols requires no introduction. She's a legend of the Los Angeles pop scene as both a solo artist and a member of too many bands to mention. Hillary Burton fronts honeychain -- one of my favorite power pop bands of recent memory. Mychols and Burton have been friends since meeting in junior high and most recently performed as the duo NUSHU. Now they have reassembled as The Checkered Hearts and released their debut EP Joystick on Chicanery Chick Records/Golden Robot Records. Joystick is a collection of covers that ought to delight anyone who geeks out over classic power pop. As the title and cover art suggest, all the songs date back to the 1980s and late '70s. The songs covered include The Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl", Housemartins' "Happy Hour", Phil Seymour's "Precious To Me", Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know", and The Knack's "Good Girls Don't". There's also an original number called "So Long, Maybe" thrown in as a bonus track! This is a true collaboration. Mychols and Burton trade off on vocals and various musical instruments. These are all really great covers. Obviously, you can't beat the source material. But these two amazing talents infuse these classic tracks with plenty of their own delightful personalities. How can you not love this EP?! If you dig what you hear, be sure to also check out The Checkered Hearts' covers of 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" and Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz"!

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