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Zervas & Pepper: Abstract Heart

Lush third album from Welsh ‘cosmic folk’ duo.

It’s difficult to swallow the Welshness of Zervas & Pepper (Paul Zervas and Kathryn Pepper). From summery, electric echoes of early Steely Dan, to James Taylor-esque acoustic sensibilities, everything about Abstract Heart screams ‘California circa 197-something’.

Fuelled by several weeks in LA, and a short tour in India, it’s a warm shot of exquisitely harmonised, blissed-out folk rock. But before you mentally consign them to Radio 2, trust us when we say it is extremely lovely.

Miller captivatingly opens a sun-kissed world of ‘cerebral American songwriter’ influences – from notes of The Posies in Foolish Dreamer to the pensive, ‘Dan-esque We Are One.

True, there’s nothing remotely new here. The California dreamin’, fresh-out-of-Laurel Canyon spirit at play is very familiar, and repeated in various (only slightly ‘varied’) guises across the album. Sometimes, however, a cosy, nostalgic cuddle is what you need to feel the world is a safer place. And there shouldn’t be any shame in that./o:p

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.