The Organ Sinking Hearts

Where can I start in singing the praises of this Vancouver act? Let's begin with the vocals of Katie Sketch: a little Deborah Harry, a lot of Morrissey and so damn evocative that you can almost feel them work their way into you just as smoothly as they sound. This woman doesn't merely sing the words, she is the words. Throughout the short 15 minutes of this EP your emotions can change from sadness to elation in a heartbeat, and Sketch's vocals hold the switch. Powerful and controlled, her words penetrate and resonate in such a way that to say they're beautiful is a grave understatement. Her lyrics are simple and heartfelt - mostly concerning matters of the heart - and she manages to say so much with so little; definitely one of the finest vocal performances of 2002. As for the music, what could be better than an updated and slightly more pop-flavoured Boys Don't Cry-era Cure sound? In fact, there is a heavy post-punk presence here with guitars and bass bringing flashbacks of early to mid-'80s. The Smiths and Joy Division are also given a hefty nod, but it is their beloved namesake, that big Hammond organ, that is the defining point of this unit. At the hands of Jenny Smyth, its notes ring out and bind all other elements together. Catchy and infectious, if you're not left singing these songs for days on end, you'd have to be hearing impaired. (Global Symphonic)