Monday, July 18, 2016

Heliotropes - Over There That Way

Over There That Way is the second album from Heliotropes, although it seems more like a first album because only frontwoman Jessica Numsuwankijkul is on both records.  Where the debut featured big, grungy guitar sounds, Over There That Way shifts to more straightforward guitar pop.  To my ears, the new approach is brilliantly executed.  Jessica's vocals has a pristine tone and confident delivery that commands your attention.  At times there is a hint of the '60s, but not enough to slot the album into a retro channel.  And there is plenty of breadth, with the dark folk rock of the title track, buzzing post punk on "Dardanelles Part I", sunny indie pop on "My Only Friend" and woozy dream pop on "Dardanelles Part II".  The band is tight and supports Jessica's vocal perfectly, but is ready, willing and able to rock to the rafters when the opportunity presents itself, such as on "War Isn't Over".

Over the course of ten songs, the band never puts a wrong foot forward.  The songs are well written and executed with complete confidence.  There is a special vibe to the music when the band knows they are good, and this album has it.  And by the way, Heliotropes, I love, just love, the sax solo in "Wherever You Live".

For Over There That Way the band, in addition to Numsuwankijkul, is Ricci Swift, Richard Thomas, and Gregg Giuffre.  The album is out now on The End Records.

The End Records

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