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The Heavy Heavy w/ Julie Rhodes

July 21, 2024

 The Heavy Heavy
w/ Julie Rhodes
Sunday, July 21
Doors 7pm / Show 8pm
All ages / Standing
$18 Member / $20 General Admission Advance / $25 GA Day of show

With the arrival of their debut EP Life and Life Only, The Heavy Heavy immediately filled a longtime void in the musical landscape, delivering a soulful breed of rock & roll untouched by modern artifice. As audiences across the globe grew enchanted with their era-bending sound, the UK-based band began selling out headline shows in major cities like New York and Chicago, opening for the likes of Black Pumas and Band of Horses, and earning critical comparisons to Jefferson Airplane, The Band, The Mamas & The Papas, and more—all with only a handful of songs to their name, including the AAA radio top five singles “Miles and Miles” and “Go Down River.” After spending the past two years on the road and in the studio, The Heavy Heavy now draw listeners even deeper into their dreamworld with their long-awaited debut album One Of A Kind.

Written entirely by co-founders Georgie Fuller and William Turner and mostly recorded at Turner’s studio in Brighton, One Of A Kind maintains the self-contained approach of Life and Life Only—a seven-song project acclaimed by outlets like NME (who named them an essential emerging artist for 2023) and The Guardian (who noted that The Heavy Heavy “write and play music with that lick of madness that makes early Fleetwood Mac and peak Stones so thrilling”). To that end, Turner produced, engineered, and mixed every track and handled most of the LP’s lavish instrumentation (including guitar, bass, piano, organ, Mellotron, and more), with The Heavy Heavy’s live band lending their explosive energy to the album. But in a departure from the EP, One Of A Kind leans away from Laurel Canyon-esque folk-rock and fully embraces their British roots, finding a particularly crucial inspiration in the gritty and groove-heavy hedonism of the Rolling Stones’ Goats Head Soup. “A lot of our EP was very bright and pretty, so we wanted to smash the door down like we do in the live show,” says Turner. “Because we were creating an entire album, there was so much more space to explore and expand,” Fuller adds. “It’s still undoubtedly that Heavy Heavy sound, but now we have all these other rooms to play around in.”

For One Of A Kind’s lead single, The Heavy Heavy chose a sun-drenched and sing-along-ready number that serves as an auspicious bridge to the band’s new era. The last song written for the album, “Happiness” bends toward the lush psych-pop of Life and Life Only while introducing a new level of visceral intensity. “We felt we needed a song that had that summery, flowery feel of the EP, and somehow at the last minute we were able to pull magic out of thin air,” Fuller recalls. A fast fan favorite at their live shows, “Happiness” channels a bold determination to break free from loneliness and stagnation, ultimately providing an automatic mood lift thanks to The Heavy Heavy’s resplendent melodies and signature multi-part harmonies.

Kicking off with a majestic bang, One Of A Kind opens on the rolling drumbeats and walloping riffs of its title track—a feverishly chanted anthem whose lyrics transform the listener into the protagonist of their own impossibly glamorous movie (e.g., “You’re getting down/You’re keeping on/You look the best/You’re all night howling”). Graced with a breathtaking vocal performance from Fuller (a classically trained singer), “One Of A Kind” quickly set the tone for the album’s larger-than-life vitality. “Something about the primal nature of that song inspired us to keep making songs that feel quite big and powerful,” says Turner. Later, on “Because You’re Mine,” The Heavy Heavy sustain that feel-good spirit and share a carefree love song lit up in slinky grooves and hallucinatory lyrics depicting what Fuller refers to as “the psychedelic daydream of a wandering nomad type—someone who goes wherever the wind takes them.” 

As One Of A Kind floats along, The Heavy Heavy endlessly push into previously uncharted sonic terrain, tapping into such unexpected influences as mid-’90s big beat on the bass-driven and gorgeously hazy “Miracle Sun.” “It’s a song with a lot of attitude to it—sort of our way of telling the world, ‘We’re living the way we want to live, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand,’” says Turner. Meanwhile, on “Feel,” the band merges the mesmerizing grooves of Madchester-era Britpop with a bit of idiosyncratic poetry (“I am a freeloader love junkie/A real heavy cannonball and I’m hungry…I stand between the sun, between the stone/I feel it in my fingers, feel it in my bones”). And on “Wild Emotion,” One Of A Kind offers up a country-infused serenade laced with galloping rhythms and twangy guitar tones partly inspired by the work of Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. “That’s probably the most emotional song on the album,” Turner points out. “It’s meant to have a reassuring message, but at its center is the story of a woman who’s gone through a heartbreak and can’t find her way out of feeling hopeless and distraught.” 

After journeying through a whirlwind of sounds and textures—the hypnotic Mellotron of “Lemonade,” the frenetic psych-rock organ and skyscraping vocals of “Dirt,” the earthy acoustic guitar and sweetly playful harmonies of “Lovestruck”—One Of A Kind lands at the reverb-soaked splendor of its closing track, “Salina.” Named for a sparsely populated volcanic island off the coast of Sicily (an otherworldly spot Fuller and Turner visited on vacation), the slow-building epic unfolds in so many exquisitely strange sonic details: moody cello lines, thundering percussion, a spellbinding pedal-steel part simultaneously played by two separate guest musicians. “‘Salina’ was one of those moments where we let ourselves get experimental with the production and create a whole ocean of sound,” says Fuller. “We knew we had to put it at the end and let the reverb ring out in those final seconds—almost as if we’re leaving the album hanging in the air.”

Formed in 2019, The Heavy Heavy emerged from a potent alchemy of their eclectic sensibilities. Hailing from the small town of Malvern (a stretch of the English countryside he describes as “a beautiful place full of hippies and longhaired people”), Turner took up guitar in his early teens and later played in a series of psychedelic/surf-rock bands, while Fuller’s extensive background includes performing at Montreux Jazz Festival as a teenager and acting in the London theater. As they moved forward with a mission of “making music that sounds like our favorite records ever” (including everything from Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac to folk-blues act Delaney & Bonnie to Fleet Foxes), the duo dreamed up a batch of songs in a London flat and self-released an early version of Life and Life Only in late 2020, eventually catching the attention of ATO Records and signing with the U.S.-based label in 2022. Fueled in part by the breakout success of “Miles and Miles” (their ATO debut single), The Heavy Heavy’s five-piece live band soon began playing bigger and bigger venues and taking the stage at leading festivals like Bonnaroo, Boston Calling, and Newport Folk Festival, in addition to performing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” and “CBS Saturday Morning” and scoring major syncs with the likes of Nissan and Netflix’s “Outer Banks.”

Because of the rapturous response to their debut EP, The Heavy Heavy found themselves in an unfamiliar headspace when it came to the creation of One Of A Kind. “With the EP we were making songs as a way to soundtrack our own lives, but now it’s a different beast—it’s no longer theoretical, which gives everything more weight,” says Turner. But in the end, the band discovered an essential touchstone in the connection they’ve forged with their fans over the last two years. “Not too long ago, a woman came up to us at a show and told us she was getting a tattoo of one of our lyrics to remind herself to keep pushing on and keep chasing her dreams,” Fuller says. “Moments like that always remind us that as long as we keep making what feels good, chances are it’s going to make other people feel good too. I hope this album feels like a great big party to everyone, and I hope it inspires them to live their lives however they want.” 


About Julie Rhodes:

"Sometimes you hear a voice and you immediately sit up and take notice. That’s what happened when I first listened to Julie Rhodes, her vocals big, soulful and growling through the speakers in a dark powerhouse sass that suits her Americana sound perfectly..."

- For the Country Record


"The ease with which she soulfully sings us through her heartbreak, and subsequent anger, is exceptional. The blend of country, soul, blues, and folk is effortless on this record. Rhodes’ uncompromising vocals, paired along with the sharp lyricism, leave me shattered in the best possible way."

- Play Too Much


Thank you to our year-round Lead Sponsors: AC Hotel Portsmouth, Katzman Contemporary Projects, MacEdge, and Raka.

Thank you to our Summer Season Sponsors: BANKW Staffing, Beswick Engineering, and Procon, Inc.


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