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Yardsale Heart: Watercolours (Self-Released) 

Locals Yardsale Heart are a family band: Vocalist/guitarist Belinda Peters is married to drummer James Peters (who also plays drums for The Jons), and bassist Lizzie Peters is James' sister. Keyboardist/guitarist Charlie Rodriguez is also in The Jons, which makes him sort of related as well. All that family love translates into bright and nostalgic pop songs that blend new wave with desert rock—the kind of guitar-rock that sounds like monsoon raindrops falling on caliche—with a twist of surf guitar.

Yardsale Heart's only been a band for about a year, which makes the number of standout tracks impressive. First is the title track, where a New Order-style guitar melody introduces Belinda Peters' sweet and innocent voice. Horns courtesy of Michael Carbajal and Marco Rosano elevate "So Strong" into a truly fabulous number worthy of big-time live production. "Room 103" is Yardsale Heart's far-sexier answer to the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B." Belinda's darker side shows up with dramatic intensity on "We Go." And then there's "F.U.R.," a mostly instrumental and highly addicting track that shows off the musical talents of each member.

These songs are all credited to more than one member of Yardsale Heart, or they're carried by more than just the vocal melody. Conclusion: Yardsale Heart works best when each member of the family is equally represented.

More by Annie Holub

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