Winnipeg duo Heavy Bell craft swirling chamber pop with a literary bent.
Lucid, perplexing, emotionally engrossing songwriting, the band's sonic flourishes - acres of brass, buoyant backing vocals - are matched to some beautifully composed lyrics.
New album 'By Central Station' is out now, an ambitious piece of work which owes a debt to the novelist Elizabeth Smart.
The album title echoes her work By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept, while the songwriting mirrors the themes of her work.
Here's Heavy Bell’s Tom Keenan with a little more context...
"Elizabeth Smart's poetic novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept chronicles the interior journey of a woman in a love affair. It is a largely autobiographical account of her relationship with the English poet George Barker, a married man whom she eventually followed to Britain, bearing four of his children, despite the fact that he never left his wife."
"The songs of 'By Grand Central Station', like their source material, explore the various emotional extremes she reaches: passion, fear, exhilaration, grief, guilt, ecstasy, helplessness, a sense of fate."
We're able to share the video for moving album highlight 'Only For Myself', and it brings to mind everyone from Sufjan Stevens to The Flaming Lips' more lucid moments.
"'Only For Myself' is a moment when pity finds its way into the protagonist's heart, only to be eclipsed by her own pain. In writing this song, we were attracted to the boldness and honesty of the passage. What is perhaps most remarkable about Smart is that her mind remains lucid, self-critical, and quick as lightning, even as she is tossed like flotsam by the sea of her feelings; it is not enough for her to tear her own heart out: she must then examine it."
Tune in now.
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