A Heart That Sings Can Never Bleed
A Heart That Sings Can Never Bleed
rcomnd by Boat to Row
Embarking on this project initially seemed as though it could be quite a risky endeavor. One full of discoveries - or at least that is the hope - but riddled with challenges in its very nature. For one thing, its continuation depends upon sustained correspondence with artists and bands – without their musical suggestions there is nothing for rcomnd to, well recommend. Then there is the risk of getting stuck in one same genre, in that if a musician suggests his friend on the same label, who then suggests someone they’ve shared stages with – there’s nothing stopping rcomnd becoming a one-sided advocate of only spacesynth-bitpop-Nintendocore (unlikely though it is).
And thirdly – there was that concern that shouldn’t really be voiced. With musicians recommending artists that may only just be breaking the music industry – there was no real assurance that they would actually be good. The idea of course is that they will be underrated, and suggested by someone who really knows their stuff, but there was always that lingering possibility that, well, they didn’t.
At only the second rcomnd it is rather too early to tell on the first two counts whether the blog will succeed. But on the third, it is with utter relief that Andy Oliveri tumbled so gently from the affections of Boat to Row. For there is no question about whether the Cheltenham-based folk sweetheart is good. In fact, he’s quite excellent.
His newest single, A Heart That Sings Can Never Bleed, the stark and frank follow up to his debut EP Sing Mercy, is brooding, ominous and unsettling, and at the same time promising, sanguine and full of hope. Andy said, ‘To put it simply, it’s a song about not being afraid to express yourself. I’ve got a lot of friends who are musicians, and it can be a tough job especially if you’re a perfectionist. A lot of the time you can be forced into a pigeon hole depending on what your last song/ record sounded like and it can get you down. I guess the song is about breaking out of that and letting your honest emotions/writing take lead’.
It is the raw and so very honest nature of the gorgeous lyrics and the captivatingly coordinated instrumental collective - keys, droning brass and velvety-haunting male/female harmonies – that make this beautifully unpolished track so memorable. Equally awe-inspiring, the B-side She Bets on Wild Horses and the release’s title track were both recorded live one sultry summer evening, thwarting quite spectacularly the notion that studio trickery can do anything for a song that a knee-buckling voice and accomplished musicianship can’t do alone.
‘We did this single in one evening and the last EP, Sing Mercy, was the same set up. I like to record as live as possible. For me it’s all about getting a “moment” opposed to a perfectly overdubbed sound. I think it’s really important that the emotions of the musician comes through in the take, like a snapshot of what that song means to that musician when they’re playing/ singing for three and a half minutes. We tend to record the bare bones of the songs without headphones too. That way, everyone has to pay real close attention to what everyone else is doing. It can be tricky, but I think it makes us tighter and more of a unit.’
And it’s that voice, those fragile yet robust vocals that make this emotive country-folk piece so notably rare too. As tender and powerful as honey poured on thunder, there is something almost Dylanesque about how stripped bare the sentiment is in its sound. It is provocative and poignant without even trying to be. Andy’s musical influences have a lot of impact on the way he produces songs, ‘it’s people like Josh Tillman, Neil Young and Will Oldham. Those guys are really doing it for me at the moment, total kings. Besides the more established acts, I would say my friends are a pretty big influence on what I do. They’ve all got massive hearts and their personalities get in everywhere without me even knowing. I’ll write a song, play it for three months, then realise who I’ve written it about’.
With rcomnd still in its early stages it’s safe to say that great effort is going into avoiding opening the gate to those clichéd phrases that are so often generously dropped into articles about fledgling artists or debut singles. Yet - with the vow that it will (hopefully) never be said again – 26-year-old Andy Oliveri is the very definition of one to watch. And A Heart That Sings Can Never Bleed will be dancing on your tongue for sometime to come.
rcomnd by Andy Oliveri:
- The Cadbury Sisters — COMING SOON TO rcomnd
Like Andy Oliveri? A Heart That Sings Can Never Bleed is available only on 7” and by digital download from 5 November on istartedthefire Records.
‘I’m going on tour in November to promote the single, hitting a bunch of really intimate venues in my favourite cities which is exciting. In the middle of the tour we’re going to film the video for A Heart That Sings’ too. We went to check out locations last weekend and it’s set to be a corker, I don’t want to give too much away just yet! After tour it’ll be time to start recording the album. That session may be a bit longer than one night though!’