“the band fall somewhere between driving ’80s alt-rock and early-’90s shoegaze, with an ear for melody and atmospherics.”
– Brooklyn Vegan
“Matt Sumrow and Mikey Jones make up
NYC’s Heaven and create music that floats on a narcotized cloud of reverbed guitars and gauzily layered vocals which sounds as if they’ve been delivered horizontally.” – Noisey
“The self-aware lyrics, paired with droning vocals, kick through the tide and wade within pulsating synth puddles.”
– Paste Magazine
“Mikey is widely regarded as the
baddest drummer in the city (and by bad I mean sick, y’all)”
– Magnet Magazine (quote by Adam Franklin of Swervedriver)
“There is a new band in Brooklyn — Heaven — they play my favorite song.” – Magnet Magazine (quote by Dean Wareham of Dean & Britta, ex Galaxie 500 and Luna)
“Bound together from playing in Adam Franklin’s Bolts of Melody; Matt Sumrow of The Comas, Dean and Britta, Ambulance LTD along with Mikey Jones of The Big Sleep, Snowden and now Swervedriver, wield a dream-weapon of their own as Heaven.”
– Impose Magazine
“A staple of the NYC music scene, Brooklyn band Heaven play music that sits somewhere between shoegaze and psych sensibilities and produces songs that act as sonic love notes to both genres.”
– The Deli NYC
“Heaven has a noisier streak, a bitter taste of Psychocandy ready to snap and snarl into the blown-out new world of Death By Audio power-gushers.”
– Village Voice
“traverses a wide swath of territory stylistically, veering from anthemic shoegaze… to ethereal Velvets-esque bleary eyed lullabies… to Spacemen 3-indebted bombast…rendering what could easily transpose as staid utterly modern and vital.”
– Under The Radar
Brooklyn-based psych-rock band, Heaven, announce their sophomore album, All Love is Blue,due out on March 2, 2018 via Little Cloud Records. The 10-track LP is produced by the band, engineered by Albert DiFiore (Caveman, Sinkane, Beck), and mixed by Al Carlson (Zola Jesus, Widowspeak). Brooklyn Vegan debuted the first single and video for “Never The Moment,” saying the track is “pulsing, hypnotic.”
Heaven is Matt Sumrow (vocals and guitar), Mikey Jones (drums) and Liz Lohse (keyboards and vocals). Sumrow and Jones created the band in the wake of touring and recording with artists such as Dean and Britta, Swervedriver, Ambulance LTD, The Comas, Snowden, The Big Sleep and others.
A romantic clash between your Dad’s long-lost favorite psych record and the soundtrack to a John Hughes film, Heaven ride a massive sonic wave in delivering their dear and dreamy tracks. In July of 2013, Heaven released their debut LP Telepathic Love on Goodnight Records. The live lineup came together on the touring of Telepathic Love with the addition of keyboardist Liz Lohse (X-Ray Eyeballs), who has since become a permanent member.
As 2018 sees the release of All Love Is Blue on Little Cloud Records, out of Portland, Oregon, subsequent tour dates for Heaven in support of the album will follow. Their new work is a quantum leap forward for the band, both artistically and sonically, making the protracted wait between albums a huge payoff.
1.09 – 529 Bar – Atlanta, GA
1.11 – Gravity Records – Wilmington, NC
1.12 – Cat’s Cradle Back Room – Carrboro, NC
1.13 – Monstercade – Winston-Salem, NC
1.1 – Trans Pecos – Ridgewood, NY
01. Never The Moment
02. She’s Closer Than Everyone
03. Springtimes (And All My Summer Times Too)
04. All Love is Blue
05. Falling Hearts
06. Darken Fields
07. The Sun Shines Thru In The Evening
10. Peaceful Way For The Sun To Rise
Album artwork by: Jeska Sand
John Everhart on Heaven and All Love Is Blue:
Brooklyn dream-pop outfit Heaven initially formed in late 2010. Matt Sumrow (Dean & Britta, The Comas, Ambulance LTD) and Mikey Jones (The Big Sleep, Swervedriver, Snowden), were inspired to compose and record some original songs of their own. Their opening salvo was 2013’s Telepathic Love, a fine album that only hinted at the sheer sonic ambitiousness of their sophomore effort, All Love Is Blue. Augmented by Lizzah Lohse on keyboards (X-Ray Eyeballs), the album is self-produced and engineered by Albert DiFiore (Caveman, Sinkane, Beck) at Rumpus Room in Brooklyn, NY, and mixed by Al Carlson (Widowspeak, Zola Jesus, Crystal Stilts) at Gary’s Electric Corp. It’s a quantum leap forward for the band, both artistically and sonically, making the protracted wait between albums a huge payoff.
Their songwriting acumen has never been sharper than on the opener “Never the Moment,” which marries their innate pop instincts with a glossy, metallic sheen, a vertiginous keyboard line ushering in their signature pop chug, while “All Love Is Blue” is a crepuscular ballad that’s the emotional centerpiece of the album, with traces of Echo & the Bunnymen’s divine melodic inventiveness, and a bit of the catatonic cadence and bereft wistfulness of Depeche Mode’s “Policy of Truth.” Sumrow and Jones are both sensational musicians, and the album’s a fine display of their abilities. But it’s the sophistication of songwriting evinced throughout that differentiates this from their prior work. They’ve improved immensely, obviously tightened as a songwriting unit by both their own touring and their other gigs with some of the finest musicians of the past thirty years in Dean & Britta and Swervedriver.
The twitchy “Darken Fields” is stormy and atmospheric, hitting levels in-the-red reminiscent of The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat, all claustrophobia and cloistered dread. Their swirling, woozily psychedelic take on The Boo Radleys’ “Firesky” provides a surprising yet somehow fitting penultimate track, a kiss to a largely underappreciated yet brilliant act, leading into the gorgeously magisterial closer of “Peaceful Way for the Sun to Rise.” It’s an arresting closing diptych with the Boo Radleys’ cover illustrating just how encyclopedic they are as listeners, proceeding to usher out their journey on a somber yet ultimately uplifting note on “Sun.” These tracks illustrate the band’s exceedingly generous ethos, providing a hat tip to an influence with a twilit denouement illustrating their capacity to cover a wide stylistic range, its serenity miles from the squall of the bombastic opening.
Heaven are thankfully anything but exclusive. These songs invite listeners into their party, equally in thrall to The Beatles, an avowed obsession of Sumrow, as My Bloody Valentine, which has always been a trace in their DNA. But ultimately this is a documentation of one of Brooklyn’s most overlooked bands making an album with few expectations, yet with everything to prove, and they do so with powerful élan. Many of All Love is Blue’s songs reference the sun, sky, fields, and spring, and this is in a sense a very elemental album, with the universal need to love and be love serving as something of an overriding motif. It also has a racing pulse, a heart, perhaps best displayed on “Falling Hearts,” which has a baseline Peter Hook would admire and pathos akin to Joy Division.
The band’s greatest strength lies in its ability to shape tropes too often lazily rendered trite and cliched into something deeply and personally affecting. This isn’t treacly. It’s wounded, scarred, sweet, and true. The album roots itself in your subconscious given time, with its gloriously intricate guitar weaves and vivid bursts and blooms—dynamic fireworks displays of melodies, reverb, and synths. Invest the listens and you’ll find yourself enraptured by their thoroughly beguiling world.
John Everhart is a contributor to Under the Radar, Stereogum, The A.V. Club, Interview Online, Wondering Sound, and The Big Takeover
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