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  • Writer's pictureSammie Starr

Album Review: Nouveau Arcade - 'Dead Hearts'

Seattle duo Nouveau Arcade detail their first intricate and evocative full release, Dead Hearts.



Seattle duo Nouveau Arcade is known for their diverse sound within the electronic genre. Using everything from synthwave, cyberpunk, alternative rock, pop, industrial, and goth, with flavors of EDM and dubstep, Nouveau Arcade consistently shows that they are a dissonant sound, intricately layered and bold.

Nouveau Arcade has never been an act to remain complacent in their sound, and Dead Hearts conveys a sound that not only evolves but moves with each emotion they paint onto each moment for their listeners.

With many experiences on the album written during the pandemic, Dead Hearts takes on a myriad of themes dealing with escapism, adversity, loss, getting through rough times, and living in a constant state of fear while enveloping the listener in a trance of gorgeous synthpop elements, twinkling synths, with chill and saturnine atmospherics.


Right from the beginning, "Static Eyes" expertly weaves together a dynamic energy of electric influences with a touching sense of nostalgia, committing to Nouveau Arcade's expressive journey of a time when fear consumed us all.


Ominous and vitriolic, "IHumanz" continues to deep dive into the terror, pain, and anxiety felt when dealing with the complexities of emotions, adding an extra dose of multi-dimensional vocals to convey the level of misery portrayed within the lyricism. This gives way to more impassioned tracks on the album, "Crazy Like That."


Dreamy and voltaic, "Crazy Like That," and "Summer Is Over" deal with illusions and refuses to deal with reality before cruising into highlights like "Flourescent." Dealing with adversity and overcoming hardships, Nouveau Arcade gives hope to those struggling through hard times.


Infectious and high-octane, Nouveau Arcade picks the energy back up with songs like "Neon Love Machine," "Jumpsuit," and "Run Boy Run" featuring KJ Sawka. The duo's outstanding expertise by these musicians is conveyed in their ability to seamlessly combine unprocessed elements while retaining the soul of the entire record.


The record ends with the final tracks, "Choose Your Fighter" and "Stronger Now." With all the elements more daring, fearless, and celestial than ever, Nouveau Arcade combines all of their best efforts in these last few efforts showing just how much these artists have evolved through the process of creating this record, and it shows.


Nouveau Arcade has never been an act to remain complacent in their sound, and Dead Hearts conveys a sound that not only evolves but moves with each emotion they paint onto each moment for their listeners. With Dead Hearts, one can feel and immerse one's self in each experience. For these reasons, Dead Hearts succeeds.




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