HELIOTROPES – A Constant Sea

Album: A Constant Sea

Artist: Heliotropes

Label: Manimal

Release Date: June 11, 2013




 Three songs into the debut from this Brooklyn quartet, the listener may mark A Constant Sea as one of those pretty LPs from an all-female group that’s indistinguishable from any number of like-minded girl groups emerging to strummed guitars and reverb vocals dusted with shoegaze glaze. But not so fast, dear listeners.

 After the third track “Christine” floats past like a lost Julee Cruise track on soulful blues guitar and vintage 50s’ keys, the LP takes a surprising but effective turn into heavy, murky territory. Tracks like “Early In the Morning,” “Good and Evil,” and “Psalms” alternate between Jessica Numsuwankijkul ‘s sinister sludge riffs and bludgeoning beats from drummer Cici Harrison and bassist Nya Abudu. The heady blend tears you from any girl group nostalgia and lands you, pleasantly pummeled and brain-blasted, between Pontiak’s epic guitar barrages, Sleater-Kinney’s noisiest moments, and Spacemen 3’s hypnotic spaceouts.

 These types of angst-riddled songs — “One of these days, I’m going to jump right out of my skin,” Numsuwankijkul growls on the explosive “Joy Unfolds” — have for too long been the purview of the boys. And to hear this demographically diverse gang tear into these riffs with such fury and aplomb is a reminder that an aggro reaction to existential dread and the bullshit us boys tend to saddle our womenfolk with isn’t testosterone-specific.

 DOWNLOAD: “Joy Unfolds,” “Early In the Morning”


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