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Blue Skies for Black Hearts





Blue Skies for Black Hearts does X-Mas

Now that December is just a few hours away, let's break out the Jesus birthday jams. Now in it's 9th volume, XO for the Holidays is a compilation put out by Portland and Detroit based PR firm XO Publicity. This year, XO for the Holidays presents the rocking power pop of Blue Skies for Black Hearts doing a Christmas classic.

We all miss David Bowie terribly and Bing Crosby's influence is undeniable, so hearing Blue Skies for Black Hearts taking on their 1977 holiday hit "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" brings about a true sense of joy. 

Frontman Pat Kearns's vocals fittingly encapsulate much of what Bowie and Crosby were serving in their original rendition, but with his own twist of course. His recently released solo record, So Long City, showcases his vocal talents further.

Listen to all of XO for the Holidays here, and give Blue Skies For Black Hearts' take on "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" below.





Blue Skies for Black Hearts Release Self Titled Album

Blue Skies For Black Hearts began as a solo project of Pat Kearns over a decade ago, but has evolved into a Portland mainstay and touring band with five members and six albums. Throughout the band's career, they have intertwined sounds of 50's rhythms and jaunty 70's folk rock, as well as  alternative rock that sprung from the 90's. It's been three years since 2011's  Embracing The Modern Age, and BSFBH hasn't strayed far from their base of fuzzy, filtered, multi-generational sound on their latest self-titled album.  It's a seasoned group, and they have footing in a progressive form of easy-going classic rock, however it is more complex with the band's rounded out line-up.  

To self title the album seems befitting. It's a sunny blend of guitar play between rhythm and lead ("Gone On Too Long"), and anthems focused on release ("Keep On Keepin On"). But Pat Kearns's songwriting is beautifully keen and cool, with ever-clear vocal delivery. "Waiting To Run" has harmonics and crashing cymbals to eradicate self-destruction on a  beautiful day.  "Nothing Came In The Mail" delves into vague existence and soldiers charging compounds; like all of the songs it is embellished with a melodic solo, in this case the bands addition of keyboardist Mark Breitenbach. The last three songs play to the romantic ear:  "Don't Look Back" is sexy funk and choruses, and is followed by "Love Scenes", which sings of longing and inspiration with the sweetest of guitar chords. "Back Home" is about getting back to that special someone with psychedelic undertones. 

Blue Skies For Black Hearts play their album release with Spirit Lake at Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday night, 7/9. For optimal listening pleasure, make sure to grab a copy of their beautiful new black and blue vinyl. Check out the video for the album's lead single "It's Gone On Too Long" below. 

- Brandy Crowe 

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