Hexes & Ohs Thank You

Hexes & Ohs Thank You
High school sweethearts turned husband and wife indie-poppers Hexes and Ohs (that's Edmund Lam and Heidi Donnelly, to their parents) are lovers, not fighters. Tender, angsty and occasionally fey, the Montreal duo's third album, Thank You, follows their brief hiatus with a frequently satisfying set of dance floor-ready nuggets so sickly sweet they ought to come with some kind of warning. Songs like "I Don't Let it Get Me Down" and "The Colours" strut the catwalk with strobing synths and rough guitar licks, the latter featuring an '80s bass line that wouldn't sound out of place on Brooklyn's Captured Tracks label. The likes of "My Shadow! My Shadow!" and "Never Age, Never Change," meanwhile, deal with paranoia, complacency and prolonged relationships, but fall short of the requisite mastery of melody or lyrics to rejuvenate the well-worn subject matter. Fortunately, there's enough buoyant joy-pop panache across these nine songs to keep it all afloat, often trading downbeat for delighting, bittersweet melodic numbers that warm the cockles like loved-up puppies wrestling beneath the bed sheets. Call this a modest success tempered by small-town ambition. And while you feel Hexes and Ohs might have achieved just what they set out to, there's every hope and possibility that better is yet to come. (Saboteur)