Bands to Watch #335: Beaty Heart

By on Friday, 30th January 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Note: Beaty Heart were announced in November as part of the lineup for SXSW 2015. TGTF has recently been informed that the band will unfortunately not be making the trip to Austin this year.

South London trio Beaty Heart is one of an increasing number of bands whose music defies strict genre classification. Their loosely-defined pop sound has gravitates alternately toward world music and folk, and as you might guess from their name, Beaty Heart puts a heavy emphasis on rhythm and percussion. In fact, band members Josh Mitchell, Charlie Rotberg and James Moruzzi are all multi-instrumentalists, and their collective sonic repertoire includes electronic sampling, eclectic percussion and unusual instruments like the mbira, which I first encountered in listening to fellow folk-pop band Stornoway.

Beaty Heart released an early EP ‘Slush Puppy/Cola’ in 2011, but it was their debut LP ‘Mixed Blessings’, released in May 2014 on Nusic Sounds/Caroline International, that garnered them a wider range of attention. ‘Mixed Blessings’ opens with a brightly tropical theme on a sequence of three strong tracks, ‘Banana Bread’, ‘Kanute’s Comin’ Round’ and the trippy ‘Seafood’. The band members also identify themselves as visual artists, and as such they direct their own music videos, including the somewhat dizzying video for ‘Banana Bread’, below.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/uiqpoDa9sXI[/youtube]

After ‘Seafood’, the album begins to evolve into a darker, more downtempo sound with the first of two short instrumental interludes, ‘Opal Shred’, which is balanced later in the tracklisting with its counterpart, ‘Opal Loop’. ‘Kinder’ has a distorted, almost discordant echo, while the chill vibe of ‘Muti’ features chant-like backing vocals and light, sparkling keyboard melodies.

The first single from the album, ‘Lekka Freakout’, appears late in the tracklisting, providing a welcome moment of upbeat pop among the more experimental songs. Returning to the upbeat tribal dance sound, the track includes a cheeky and charming circle of lyrics: “he doesn’t play too well because he has no thumbs, but he sings in time when he hears those drums / he doesn’t sing too well, because he has no lungs, but if he really tries, he hears everyone.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Y3Yyt98uQi4[/youtube]

After the release of ‘Mixed Blessings’, Beaty Heart spent the end of 2014 playing in America and Europe with Jungle, as well as joining Kishi Bashi for a tour of the UK and Europe. The band’s next move is unclear since the cancellation of their scheduled SXSW 2015 appearance, but while you wait for news on Beaty Heart, you can check out their live video from the 2012 In The Woods Festival, just below.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/eEfiq2YIa8s[/youtube]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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