OnesToWatch: The Heartbreaks
“The main preoccupations of our songs are wearing your heart on your sleeve, your tongue in your cheek… your foot in your mouth…” If, last year, The Drums began the American charge of indie bands renewing the faith that guys with guitars needn’t automatically sound like The Enemy, then 2011 is surely the year that us Brits show we’ve got some pretty savvy axewielders in our midst as well. Heading up the pack are Morecambe quartet, The Heartbreaks – a sort of Frankie & The Heartstrings for the Phil Spector fan – whose tales of love and loss are as catchy and melodically lush as they are riddled with off-the-cuff wit. “Northern soul and Motown are probably the biggest influences,” continues frontman Matt Whitehouse. “I think the last boom of guitar bands, their influences were all hideously white and devoid of all influence of black music.” With debut single, ‘Liar, My Dear’, jangling along like a lost Postcard Records relic fronted by Elvis Costello, and the likes of ‘Jealous, Don’t You Know’s knowingly affected lovelorn lyricisms, it’s clear that this lot have taken on life with a Smithsian kick of the heels rather than the swagger of more recent northern output. But, though The Heartbreaks’ (completed by Joseph Kondras (drums), Ryan Wallace (guitar) and Deaks (bass) lineage lies with a history of particularly English kooks – charming men who rejected the grimness of it all with a roll of the eyeballs – their nods back to the glory days of pop and to more recent heroes certainly ensure that this four-piece are a band for the here and now. “I don’t want to make one album and be a flash in the pan. I’m not interested in that at all”, explains Whitehouse. “I want people to love the songs, and for them to enjoy playing them as much as we do. When you play a gig in Stockton or somewhere and there’s someone who’s bought the vinyl and knows the words to your song, it really means everything.”
The Heartbreaks’ new single is released in early March.