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The Heavy Heavy

Saturday, 20 Jul
08:00 PM

$55

The Heavy Heavy create the kind of unfettered rock-and-roll that warps time and place,

immediately pulling the audience into a euphoric fugue state with its own sun-soaked

atmosphere. Led by lifelong musicians Will Turner and Georgie Fuller, the Brighton, UK-based

band began with a shared ambition of “making records that sound like our favorite records ever,”

and soon arrived at a reverb-drenched collision of psychedelia and blues, acid rock and

sunshine pop. As revealed on their gloriously hazy debut EP Life and Life Only, The Heavy

Heavy breathe an incandescent new energy into sounds from decades ago, transcending eras

with a hypnotic ease.

In dreaming up Life and Life Only, The Heavy Heavy tapped into many of the musical

touchstones that Turner describes as “deeply entrenched in our psyche”: Peter Green-era

Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones, British Invasion pop acts like the Hollies, folk-blues duo

Delaney & Bonnie, to name just a few. Pushing past the confines of reverential pastiche, the

band imbues their output with a strangely charmed quality and heady authenticity undeniably

tied to their status as artists on the fringe, both philosophically and geographically. To that end,

Turner hails from the remote town of Malvern, an enchanted stretch of the English countryside

once frequented by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and Kate Bush. “It’s famous for

the healing qualities of its water, and there are ancient trees where the Druids used to

worship—there’s a sort of magical-hippie aspect to it,” he notes. Fuller, meanwhile, elevates

every track with her spellbinding vocals and magnetic yet wholly unaffected presence, building

upon a kaleidoscopic career that’s included performing at Montreux Jazz Festival as a teenager

as well as acting in the London theater.

Rooted in their effusive harmonies and fuzzed-out guitar work, Life and Life Only contains the

first track Turner and Fuller ever recorded as The Heavy Heavy, a lilting piece of psych-pop

titled “Go Down River.” “I’d had this song a while and couldn’t quite finish it, but then once

Georgie added her vocals it all came together,” Turner recalls. “The male-female harmonies

gave it this whole new sound; it just felt like lying in the green grass on a hot sunny day.”

Self-produced in a London flat, the six-track project also brings that transportive power to songs

like “Miles and Miles” (a bright and jangly number whose whirlwind velocity calls to mind

late-’60s/early-’70s road dramas like Easy Rider and Vanishing Point), “Man of the Hills” (a

groove-heavy homage to Turner’s otherworldly hometown), and “Sleeping on Grassy Ground” (a

sweetly languid epic featuring a near-operatic vocal performance from Fuller, a classically

trained singer).

With their full-length debut due out in 2023, The Heavy Heavy recently expanded their lineup to

five members, allowing for an even more vast and bombastic sound now touched with heavenly

four-part harmonies. A massively prolific outfit who’ve written and recorded hundreds of songs

in the last two years alone, the band feels perpetually inspired by the pursuit of making music

that provides a rarefied pleasure. “The driving force behind all our songwriting is to feel good,

and to make other people feel good too,” Fuller points out. And thanks to their uncanny grace as

sonic alchemists, The Heavy Heavy ultimately perform a certain magic with their music: eliciting

a sublime daze that goes far beyond pure escapism.

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