Heavenly – Le Jardin De Heavenly
By the time their second album was ready to roll Heavenly were an established part of the Sarah Records stable in the UK and honorary members of the International Pop Underground in the USA, where Le Jardin De Heavenly was released by K Records. The songs on the album are rich with pop melodies and complex harmonies but the band aren’t holding back – Mathew’s drumming is intense; Peter’s guitar flourishes are sharp-edged and loud. There are still elements of the gentler twee sound that had become the band’s hallmark (or curse): Different Day and So Little Deserve are winsome, delicate pop songs. But there are also swirls of early shoegaze – Starshy is a dreamy, atmospheric confection heavy with reverb and harmony. And there’s a defiant attitude in there too: I’m Not Scared Of You is the sound of a young woman refusing to be cowed by a male bully. It’s not hard to see how Heavenly ended up as part of the riot grrrl scene in the US (an encounter that would have a profound influence on the band’s later output). At the heart of the album, ‘C Is The Heavenly Option’ feels like a perfect celebration of Heavenly’s transatlantic existence, and the marriage of two indie traditions: Amelia’s English pop voice duets with Calvin Johnson’s gravelly American baritone while the band alternate between cute melody and all-out thrash. It’s a joyous combination.
Release Date: 12th May 2023
Label: Skep Wax Records
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