Noirish gloom-poppers Heirloom are back with exhilarating new song ‘Speak In Tongues’, a pitch-black psych-spangled romp that gallops along like a rip-roaring spaghetti western adventure. With Katia Ganfield’s stunningly brooding video for the single out now (and embedded for your viewing pleasure below), we caught up with the Brighton quintet’s guitarist Christopher Hallen about an exciting first year as a band.
‘Speak In Tongues’ is a psychedelic delight. How did the track come about?
“‘Speak In Tongues’ came about with us having a fast-paced, galloping idea that we wanted to explore. Most of the song and structure naturally formed from that gallop and provided a blueprint for the rest of the song. The lyrics are inspired by a book called ‘Women’s Rites’ by Jeanne De Berg. A woman who throughout her life has helped people explore themselves through sexuality. She helps them to find strength in vulnerability, which I feel a lot of people are opening up to and learning about themselves whether it’s through sexuality or not. ”
How did Heirloom start out?
“We started out in Autumn of 2017. Myself, Jade Taaffe (vocals/bass) and Sam Rivers (vocals/guitar) started meeting up with the idea of starting a band together. We agreed on the style of sound we wanted to explore and this paved the way for the creativity. We then started working on some song ideas we had and started putting some demos together. Ben Dawson (organ) and Nick McGregor (drums) then joined and we started rehearsing live. Our first show was with our friends Creatures in January 2018.”
What inspired your name?
“It came pretty naturally to us. We were discussing various names and Heirloom was one we had written down that stood out to us the most. We had a solid idea of what our sound was as we’d been rehearsing and recording before deciding on a name, and we felt Heirloom really suited our sound. Coming up with our name retrospectively was the best process for us.”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood have been a huge influence for us. Not just the male and female vocal pairing, but their arrangements and storytelling they provide in their songs. We love their beautiful love songs that sound like children’s songs, but also the darkness and underlying sadness of others. Nick Cave also is a big influence for us. There are just so many other bands, artists and songs we could list that inspire us.”
Any other new artists you have played with and would recommend?
“Our friends Creatures are amazing and have played with them a few times. They are a crazy bunch of cowboys with a western, country vibe.”
And finally, what does the future hold for Heirloom?
“We are planning on releasing another single and video in the new year. After that, we are planning on releasing an EP with these singles on, alongside a couple of unreleased tracks. This single release and ep release will be backed with launch shows and a tour. This year has kicked things off the ground for us in a really good way. We’re really happy with how this year has gone for us and we’re looking forward to next year, carrying on the momentum and working hard to get to where we want to be.”