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Popping Culture: Hercules & Love Affair album finally drops

After months of teasing dancefloors with new tracks, Hercules & Love Affair have finally released their new album, Feast of the Broken Heart.

The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the ensemble’s endeavour, with Mixmag saying, “Only a fool would dismiss Butler’s expansive vision and flair for daring reinvention,” yielding the album an eight out of 10.

Andy Butler and his band have been smart in cultivating hype for the album, releasing two strong lead singles, Do You Feel The Same? and “I Try to Talk to You, a song that also yielded a beautifully choreographed video. 

It’s not an easy feat to put out a cohesive dance-oriented album. Listeners these days are more interested in singles, and club heads are no different. They want bangers for the dancefloor, and an entire album of such tracks can be tiresome. But Butler and his team have put together a well-focused album that delivers from track one. Just like their debut album, this release begins with a number called “Hercules Theme,” but this version is made and named for 2014. This is a new Hercules & Love Affair, different both in makeup and sound but still true to its vision: to harken back to the records that came before it, pay tribute and homage, without getting stuck in their trappings. This is a sound that is of the old yet veers happily toward the new. 

At first listen, “Do You Feel the Same?” could be a forgotten masterpiece of late ’80s house, but Butler brings out a polished anthem to love and loss. But the real treats are the tracks that vocalist John Grant graces. “I Try to Talk to You” and “Liberty” are heartfelt without being sappy, a too-easy trap to fall into in the world of dance-oriented music. “5.43 to Freedom,” featuring Rouge Mary, sounds like an anthem made for the new generation of queers who are throwing dance parties all over North America these days, à la Club Called Rhonda and Occupy the Disco.

You can buy the album on iTunes, as well as stream it in its entirety on YouTube.