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The Submarines: Love Notes/Letter Bombs (Nettwerk)



The title of The Submarines' third album is a clear indication of the songs' intent. Consider it music as an ongoing couple's-therapy session.

Husband-wife duo John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard play a refreshing, easygoing electro-pop, with bright harmonies and sweet, folky touches—but the lyrics rush immediately into conflict. It's not as simple as songs of love or love lost; these are songs that trace the oft-confusing nuances of a relationship that's far from settled.

The album's press materials describe the songs as the chronicle of "a couple in a rambling old broken-down mansion, like something from a Wes Anderson movie, pushing flower pots off the balcony onto each other, tying a love note around a brick and throwing it through a window." It's certainly an apt description.

It's said that nobody wants to take a close look at how sausages or laws are made, and while listening to the Submarines, it's tempting to put relationships in the same category. Song to song, there's a pull between the good times and the bad, with what seemed to be a conclusion in one song swept away by another.

In "Tigers," the sentiment is, "Maybe I can never be everything you'll ever need, but I can wrap my arms around you." But in "A Satellite, Stars and an Ocean Behind You," it's, "After 10 years together, we're still 10 years apart." And so it goes.

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