HelloHeathen – Blue Tape Demos
Hello Heathen – Blue Tape Demos – EP Review
Hello Heathen – it has been awhile!
And MAN…am I completely happy to have you back. In a world that can often feel plasticized, fake and hollow…HelloHeathen continues to make music in a raw & real way that is quite often the result of circumstance than it is anything to do with not finding the right studio. He’s recorded all four of these songs from the Blue Tape Demos on his CELL PHONE! I’m telling you right now I’d happily listen to these songs more readily than most smoothed-out studio-slick productions…there is some absolute GOLD in the melodies HH has come up with this time out.
How about the stunning “Bleeding Hearts” for example? The way this song hits the chorus is nothing short of completely immaculate…this is a jaw-dropping melody that instantly dives deep into your heart. “Bleeding Hearts” is, like all the songs, just a man and his acoustic guitar…and a cell phone…and an absolute mastery of the atmosphere around him. Can’t forget incredible song-writing…from lyrics to performance – the words take hold of incredible emotions through the purposely-strained rasp of HelloHeathen and “Bleeding Hearts” becomes the kind of captivating moment in music we live for. What an incredible song to come back to from an artist we’ve loved in the past and certainly hoped we would find the same amazing innovation, ideas and melodies; all the answers I needed were right here in the honest nature and impressive emotion in the vocals and recording. The lyrics are BONE-CUTTING and so literally incredible…no kidding! Dude either gets a phone-call even or accidentally kicks his phone and he’s left that IN – how COOL is that? I dunno…you might not dig things like that popping up in the music you listen to, but I sure do – the atmosphere on “Bleeding Hearts” is authentic as it can possibly be.
I wasn’t as much of a fan of “Young Blood,” as I was of “Bleeding Hearts” due to the music being a little more…I dunno…maybe a little more typical in “Young Blood.” What I do think that this track does extremely well was continue to captivate through the vocals, lyrics and audible storytelling-style that HelloHeathen has put forth here on the Blue Tape Demos. HH is quite reliable in that department; the following song “Lazy Lovers” has some of my favourite lines on the entire album. Overall…as much as I appreciate what “Young Blood” becomes as it takes its structure and shape – it’s the performances that Hello Heathen gives on songs like “Bleeding Hearts” and “Lazy Lovers” that really stun, amaze and completely melt the heart.
But okay…he’s definitely getting a phone-call in the middle of “Lazy Lovers” right? It’s not like he’s stopping the song to take the call…but it sounds like that interference from an incoming call while he’s trying to record the GOLD! WHO DARES? I ask sincerely! Although I find myself sitting here again thinking how much these tiny imperfections add to the hauntingly melodic atmosphere of a song like “Lazy Lovers.” Beautiful in its twists and turns…vocals once again absolute magic…and if you were to count the hooks on your hand you’d run out of fingers. I love the amount of beautiful terrain that “Lazy Lovers” covers…I wouldn’t change a damn thing about it…not even the phone call.
With a jangled blues-folk/rock sound to “Symmetry” the EP draws to a close…another completely unique and blissful experience in the reality-based world of HelloHeathen’s music. It’s gritty…it’s raw…but it also has an incredibly classic sound to it all when recorded this way – especially this final tune. Impressively always delivering vocals that carry inflections in tone that would take most virtuosos years and years to perfect – everything about the songs of HelloHeathen sound incredibly humble, never hollow. In all seriousness…there’s music out there that never gets the recognition it deserves because of the marketing machines, or simply the production on a record like this; believe me when I say…if you’re one of those people out there that can’t get past a gritty-sound to a recording – you’re potentially missing out on some incredible music out there in our world…just like this.