Album Reviews: Declare a New State! by The SubmarinesHe and She make music together. He and She become a couple. He and She tour and move to L.A. He and She part ways. He and She make their own songs about being together and being apart. He and She find they are writing about the same things. He and She go deeper in The Submarines. Breaking up is hard to do.
Does the best art come from people in pain? Do we hate it when our heroes are happy? Do you need to suffer to be a great artist? Maybe it's like a deal with the devil. You'll be unlucky at love, but full of talent and truthful insight for others.
The Submarines are Blake Hazard (She) and Jack Dragonetti (He). Declare a New State! is ten tracks which begin with She and He together on "Peace & Hate." They employ the classic duet style of The Beautiful South or Stars on this rousing opener. Other comparisons to Stars hold true for the duration, even though the opener is the only true duet. Declare a New State then trades the He/She perspective song for song, starting with She.
This is a bittersweet pop record for rainy days. "Clouds" (by Hazard) is as heart-wrenching a song you'll hear this year. It's a lushly produced (by Dragonetti), leisurely stroll of a pop record that will commiserate with you when you're down.
We want He and She to come together again, as they do on that stellar opener, "Peace & Hate." Or do we? Mates of State have shown that indie couples can make a go of it and still delight an audience. Are The Submarines together as band only, or are He and She in love again? We'll probably have to hear the next record to know. Declare a New State: guaranteed to bring you right down but leave you a ray of hope. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, The Submarines may be in the gutter, but they're staring up at the stars. - Jeff Kamin
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