Published Mar 21, 2017What do you get when Kevin Hearn, the brilliant, multi-instrumentalist best known as the keyboardist for Barenaked Ladies, teams up with his real-life cousin Harland Williams, the actor and comedian? To be honest, it's hard to pin down, but it's called Rattlesnake Love and the 11 tracks here are a super eclectic, sometimes trippy, strangely hypnotic musical map crosser.
See if you can follow along: alien-channelling electro-pop gives way to alt-country, then a beach party intermission, before regrouping for some fab '80s synth-pop. In the middle is a Spaghetti Western set, which turns out to be the bridge to the psychedelic title track (listen closely for a guest vocal by Carole Pope), another stop at the beach (this time there's a breeze) and then it's on to the accordion-infused folk ballad night-ender.
Somewhere in there is a lovely little country record, conversational, emotional — "Baby don't lie about loving me again," sings Williams on the gorgeous closer "You Can Lie" — with the sonic beauty and spaciousness to lure you into Hearn and Williams' dreamy worldview.
Credit to Williams for handling lead vocals like he's been doing it all along, and to Hearn, who also produced the album, for building expansive soundscapes in a way that only he can. Rattlesnake Love is a journey entirely of the Cousins' own making, but you won't regret going along for the ride. (Independent)