Zervas & Pepper: Abstract Heart

Lush third album from Welsh ‘cosmic folk’ duo.

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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 Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.