This ‘Track of the Day’ article was written by Alia Thomas, a GIGsoup contributor.
The thought of an electronic-pop album coming together in the heart of a monastery is certainly an unusual one, but never-the-less a mere shrug of the shoulders for the band HEARTS HEARTS – inspiration does after all come from the most unlikeliest of places. The lads from Vienna started up as a duo and evolved into the four piece and the aforementioned Austrian monastery helped lead to the creation of their debut album, “Young”.
2016 has started off well for the band, already having been nominated for an award in their home country of Austria, and it certainly appears as if the popularity of the band is about to spread thanks to the new single ‘I Am In’ .
Introduce yourselves! How did HEARTS HEARTS come about?
David: Daniel and I started to make music together in 2010. But we didn’t really consider ourselves being a band, much rather we were two guys who simply wanted to play guitar and have fun together. When we realized that some of our songs might have potential we started to look out for other musicians with a similar understanding of music. In 2012, when Johannes and Peter Paul joined the band, we from time to time withdrew to a monastery where our sound evolved into a much more dense and electronic direction. I think that the possibility to play together throughout the whole night, to play around with the racks of effects lying around there, had a huge impact upon our music.
Your debut album, ‘Young’, is out now, worldwide. Did you enjoy the whole process of making your first album? It must have been very exciting and fulfilling to watch it come together.
Peter Paul: It was a great experience! Some songs had been around for years when we decided to finally record the album, others weren’t even finished by that time. Since we decided to do everything by ourselves and we didn’t really have a “deadline”, there was enough time for experiments and refinement.
“AAA” is one of those tracks that had been around for quite some time, but when the album came together it didn’t seem to fit anymore. So we dropped most of its elements and started to rewrite it, making it our own again.
Daniel: The same thing can be said about “Potemkinsche Dörfer”. It was a song we really believed in, but we simply didn’t know how to to get the best out of it. Untill Johannes decided to tear it apart entirely and started to rebuild it from scratch. One could almost say that we made a remix of our own song. Even though I was really shocked the first time I heard the new version, it gave us the opportunity to go about the song from an entirely new, unbiased and fresh perspective. We ended up with several different versions, different bits and parts, which we put back together again. I suppose our working procedures are a bit unconventional and time-inefficient, however it fits us quite well.
You spent a lot of time in a monastery which led to the evolution of your songs/album. How did it come about for you to have sessions in this Austrian monastery?
Johannes: Well, we really enjoy to get away sometimes and to make music in a totally different environment, far away from all the duties of the everyday. An old acquaintance of ours, a music-enthusiastic priest, offered us to stay in an Upper Austrian monastery for a while. The decision to go there had nothing to do with any kind of religious or spiritual striving.
Also, there was not much to do in the monastery than to play music. The absence of alternatives created a certain productivity and creativity, which was good and important for the development of Young.
Your new single out is ‘I Am In’ – it’s a beautiful track. What’s the story behind the song? Did you have a lot of creative control when coming to making the video?
David: Well, the song deals with the night as a realm of exhilaration and counterpart of the meritocracy’s daily grind. I think that the night above all opens new spaces where we dare to imagine and pretend. It’s the darkness and the thrill that let us strive after the irrational. But the song inheres some kind of tragic component at the end. At dawn, when first lights appear again, everything decided, all great expectations are covered with doubt again. I think everybody experienced what it is like to get home in the morning after a joyous night. We wanted to make a video that visually underscores that certain feeling of the night.
Johannes: We once again worked together with video artist Eyup Kus, who already produced our first video “Hunter Limits”.
Congratulations on your Austrian Music Awards nomination for the radio FM4 award. A great start to the year for you all. What other exciting things can we expect to see or hear from HEARTS HEARTS in 2016?
Daniel: Thanks a lot! We’re extremely grateful for the last few months. In 2016 we’ll release at least one more music video, we’ll play as many live shows as possible. We really look forward to present our vision of “Young” live to people. Furthermore, we already started working on new songs for our sophomore album. We are keeping ourselves busy!