Back before Spotify was the end of all physical music, it was curiosity (“holy shit, I get every song ever for $10 a month? This is never going to work”) and a fledgling social network. Vestiges of this still exist, but it was once much more user-focused; send songs, share playlists, see what people were listening to. Because I am old, it reminded me a little bit of college, seeing what other people had in their iTunes library, using it as fuel to send desperately sweaty Facebook messages (“HeY, I sEe YoU LiKe ThE RePlAcEmEnTs, ToO. dO yOu WaNt To CoMe OvEr AnD wAtCh GaRdEn StAtE?”).
Some of this still exists in skeletal forms, but my preferred means of cyber stalking comes from – big shock – Bandcamp. There is a system in place where I, a user, can see what other users have purchased a given album or song (say, for example, who else is buying the excellent Volcano Park ep by Meat Wave), and then see what else that person is interested in. This is, functionally, no different that curation by machine, I guess, but I like the personal story it tells, the view into individual idiosyncrasy that it offers me, a strange lonely weird on the internet.
So, this is a long preamble to say that, while I do not remember which stranger I was peeping on when I found HEARTS APART, but shout out to them, because this is my favorite EP of the year so far. Nothing special about it, it’s just an absolute crystalline distillation of the kind of punk I like; speedy, melancholy, catchy, almost perfect pop music.