‘All of our dreams are at our feet’- Chatting to The Heavy Heavy

Kate Bowie talks origins, inspiration and tour high-jinks with The Heavy Heavy.

If Brighton-based sunshine-pop virtuosos The Heavy Heavy haven’t yet surfaced on your radar, it won’t be long until they do. Despite only just shimmering onto the scene with their debut EP ‘Life and Life Only’ last July, they’ve already completed a jaunt in Europe and will be hurtling over the pond for an extensive US tour in September. Seeing as they’ve already  caused such a stir, we thought we’d track them down and see what all the fuss is about.

Will Turner explains he met his co-lead Georgie Fuller ‘eight years ago, recording music for another project where Georgie was adding vocals to some tracks. We got on like a house on fire, and have done ever since’. Seeped in nostalgic blues riffs and hazy vocals, it’s clear that it’s not just their personalities that mesh. Their joint love of retro rock and west-coast psychedelia is instantly evident to any listener.

The Heavy Heavy

Although Turner provided me with an ample list of inspirational tracks, including The Mamas and The Papas’ ‘California Dreaming’, Marvin Gaye’s ‘Trouble Man’ and
The Rolling Stones’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ (‘we could include everything by the Stones’), you barely need him to tell you that. Tonally warm, melodically complex and undeniably dreamy, listening to The Heavy Heavy feels like a warm hug straight from 1968.

While the band’s unmistakable retro sound certainly plays a part in allowing Turner and Fuller to stand out from the crowd, their vocals are not to be overlooked. Turner highlights that ‘the timbre of both voices’ is ‘quite similar’. The resulting glimmering harmonies take the tracks from simply sounding inspired by yester-year to sounding like The Heavy Heavy have time-travelled to 2022. ‘Georgie has a lot of power across the whole range’, Turner continues, ‘For me to sing the higher notes I’ve got to blast it out’. Listening to Georgie’s soulful bridge in ‘Sleeping on grassy ground’, you can see that Turner’s description of her vocal control isn’t hyperbole.

When I say The Heavy Heavy are zooming into the mainstream, I’m not exaggerating. They’ve just been signed by the infamous ATO records, where they’ve gained three new band members. ‘Since we teamed up with ATO, the whole operation has taken on a whole other level’, Turner says. ‘We feel that we now have this immense force behind us both in raw passion and resources. I think we feel that anything is possible now – all of our dreams are at our feet’. The biggest lesson they’ve learnt? ‘There are lots of people in the business, but there are certain individuals that really stand tall above the rest … that’s who we needed!’.

The Heavy Heavy

It’s those people who helped them get on the road for their first tour dates in Europe, which were such a success that Turner says the hardest part was ‘coming home!’. A close second, however, was ‘running out of diesel on our way into Amsterdam from Paris. We had to push our big heavy van for over a mile to get to a petrol station. I think Georgie was close to being forced into a solo career as it nearly killed the rest of us!’.

With the EP finally out, and a US tour quickly approaching on the horizon, the band ‘are still pinching ourselves’. ‘It feels amazing, especially to have it released on vinyl. That is a big deal for us, exactly where it belongs. It’s great to know that the EP will now have its own journey into the world and people can finally hear the sounds that we make’.

If you’d like to hear those sounds, click here to order a copy of the Life and Life Only vinyl. If you’d like to keep an eye on what the hell the band get up to next (I know I will be), then click here to follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

For more from Kate, click here

Words by Kate Bowie

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