‘BRING ME THE HEARTS’ – FULL OF AMERICANA, RETRO-SOUL, AND A TINGE OF GOSPEL
FORMED during lockdown with a shared love of close vocal harmonies and soulful acoustic grooves, BRING ME THE HEARTS today release their eponymous debut album via Rodina Music.
It’s an album of instant West Coast, flower-powered favourites, elevated to celestial highs by the stunning vocals of Aoife Hearty.
“Aoife is a little like Joni, Aimee, Rickie, Roberta, Aretha and Nina,” said guitarist and songwriter, Huw Jacob.
“Female vocalists with an honesty at their core, performances where technique didn’t obliterate vulnerability. I’d asked females to sing my songs before, but it didn’t quite work. Hearing Aoife sing her folky material was the first time I imagined it succeeding, and now I can’t imagine anyone else singing them.”
Drawing on a wide range of influences including Americana, retro-soul, and tinges of gospel, the band have their origins in England’s beautiful Peak District.
“The project was born out of that time everybody remembers when everything was just suddenly frozen in time mid to late 2020,” explains Joe Tatton, keys and vocals. “Like most musicians I’d had all my tours cancelled, (The New Mastersounds, and Joe Tatton Trio) after 15 years playing scratchy funk at gigs all over the United States.
“After six months when people were allowed to meet again, we started ‘Tuesday Music’ club so Matt Ryan (drums and vocals) and Huw would join us and share our songs. It was such a joy to be playing and meeting people again we immediately penned ‘Together Again,’ the first single.
“It was great to write something very different stylistically, more tempered, and also vocal led, and also great that it can sound amazing, just four people acoustically in a room un-amplified which is kind of why a lot of the songs have acoustic guitars and brushes on the drums and damper pedal on the piano.”
“What made recording this album so special was in part due to the mix of people and personalities within the band,” adds Jacob.
“Joe is the de facto soloist who also steers the ship from the bottom up. Matt is Zen, like steadiness personified, though no silent partner, and I feel like I drive the rhythm like a bassist, with no interest in meandering solos. It’s an interesting musical dynamic that couldn’t exist within a traditional set up. A song-based outfit with the capacity for creative freedom, without disappearing too far into the deep and meaningless. Egos are left at the door, and everyone has a vested interest in the success of the songs, and of this project.
“What also made recording this album so special and different to other projects was the idyllic surroundings it was born out of. Instead of loading into some urban concrete soul destroying complex and watching the clock, we took our time in the countryside, allowing the music to breathe, to morph and mutate before settling into its final recorded form.”
Singer-songwriter Aoife has previously released material under the name ‘Rodina,’ and admits working with the group allowed her to discover previously unchartered, musical territories.
“I’d never sung in a band where everyone sings in harmony, and it was great hearing old songs come to life with harmonies in the first get togethers,” she said. “Although I’ve often layered up harmonies myself on records, I guess it’s something I’ve just realised sounds so good with all the voices of a band.
“We came to this album with songs already written by all of us and we worked together to form them into finished tracks. Because the songs came from us all before we got together, they relate to different experiences from a different person’s perspective, but we all related to them. For example, ‘Watersigns’ – one of my songs – is about finding potential in yourself. Huw’s song, ‘Peace at Last,’ is about bereavement and ‘Blackberries’ is about growing up.”
For drummer Ryan, working with the group allowed him to develop his skills as a singer, an area he hadn’t fully explored previously.
“I’ve never been a great singer, always a bit shy and lacking confidence, but Joe and Aoife were so encouraging,” he explained. “I discovered that singing with friends is one of the best things for the soul and I’m really grateful they took the time to help me with this aspect of my musicianship. I’ve sung backing vocals before in function bands but that’s very different to singing our own songs.
“For the second single, ‘Watersigns,’ we sent it to a well-known producer to be mixed and mastered, and it came back sounding big, bright, and clean. It sounded great but wasn’t right. It had lost the warmth and authenticity we had captured, and we didn’t want to lose that so Joe had a go at mixing it and it sounded amazing.
“It sounded like an analogue recording from the seventies. Beautiful, and exactly what we all wanted. Joe and Huw need particular credit for the painstaking hours they spent at the computer in the making of this album, we have created a record of absolutely beautiful music. I feel so privileged to be able to spend time with these guys and I’m really excited about what will come next.”
The band have arranged a YouTube livestream at 8pm on Monday October 30th from the studio where the album was recorded, links below:
And Bring Me The Hearts are already half-way through recording their second album, scheduled for release summer 2024 – for further information, visit Home | Perle Studio