Single Review: High Hazels – Hearts Are Breaking

By on Tuesday, 3rd September 2013 at 12:00 pm

In July, I introduced you all to a new-ish band from Sheffield called High Hazels. Since that Bands to Watch feature, things have been on the up and up for the band: one massive thing that’s happened is their signing to indie label Heist or Hit Records, who also have Skint and Demoralised and Bad Veins on their roster. And just last week, the band announced on their Facebook that a test pressing of their debut single with Heist or Hit had been run successfully and being the nice boys that they are, they’d be giving it away to a lucky fan. Ain’t that sweet?

The name of the single, which has already been making the rounds on the interwebs, is called ‘Hearts Are Breaking’. I feel even more compelled to write about this single after seeing the poster for their single launch at the Sheffield Harley on the 4th of October when the venue unveiled it last month. It’s a strange combination of the English (take-a-way?) and American (flags, hot dog and hamburger stand) that I actually feel pained that I won’t be able to attend the party. Shouldn’t stop you, though.

I say strange, because I don’t hear anything particularly American about the single, which you can stream at the end of this post. Is it because I am American? Not sure. Need to get American blogger types together on this side of the pond to have a think on that. What I do know about ‘Hearts Are Breaking’ is that the overall sound achieved by High Hazels here is not unlike feeling like you’re inside one of those old-timey listening booths they used to have in record shops in the ’60s and the band is in there performing the song just for you. You’d think it would be claustrophobic, but it’s not. At all.

The guitars made echoey wrap around you like a warm blanket, which works well as the single release proper doesn’t happen until we’re deep into autumn days and nights. Singer James Leesley’s voice is bright even with the reverb effects, managing to soar with the words, “hearts are breaking / it’s never been as cold as tonight / a change of season / to hide inside / there’s a strange feeling right behind my eyes”. He’s not talking about contact lenses, folks. No, he’s elegantly describing the heartbreaking art of…crying. The image of being able to hide yourself as the seasons change, while time moves on and you can’t, proves emotionally evocative as well. The chorus “but even in the skies of a different hue, I won’t forget you / keep me in your heart a while, it’s true, I won’t forget you” continues on the same theme from earlier song ‘French Rue’. I think I just about fainted from the ache in my heart. The relationship is over and she’s far away from here now. But he’s still so much in love.

This is true beauty.


‘Hearts Are Breaking’, the debut single from High Hazels, will be released on the 7th of October on Heist or Hit Records. Three days prior on the 4th of October, the band will be holding a single launch party at Sheffield Harley; tickets are on sale now.

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6 Responses

5:59 pm
20th September 2013

Excellent review of a superb song which is a very strong candidate to be “song of the year”.

7:48 pm
20th September 2013

Your Comments
Great band who’ve worked so hard and deserve to do well!Great sound.

[…] my review of the single here. It will be released on the 7th of October on Heist or Hit Records. Three days prior on the 4th of […]

2:27 pm
25th September 2013

Your Comments

Amazing Band and fantastic music

[…] at the Harley, to celebrate the release of the most excellent ‘Hearts Are Breaking’ (reviewed here; Video of the Moment here) on their new label Heist or Hit Records. In honour of the momentous […]

[…] previous single ‘Hearts Are Breaking’ (review here, video here), this new one features what might just become High Hazels’ trademark, guitars […]

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