Ben Garrett, it seems, is obsessed with the macabre. Crooning like a Nosferatu Patrick Wolf, he’s been producing digital, gothic show tunes for the past three years, mentioning killers, miscarriages and death wherever he can. And that’s exactly why ‘Young Dark Hearts’ is quite possibly the most confident and precisely formed pop record of the year. La Roux-sized choruses are exactly where they should be throughout, but so too are dark and intriguing thoughts not found on anything as piffy as ‘In For The Kill’. We’re all going to die and ‘Ananas Trunk Railway’ is keen to remind us, like a closing number from The Lion King. ‘Visitors’ is Candi Staton disco, but also creepy and defiant, despite Dave Gahn providing backing vocals. Where did Esser’s clever pop hits go? Ask frYars.

By Stuart Stubbs

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