Heaven: All Love Is Blue (Little Cloud) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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All Love Is Blue

Little Cloud

May 23, 2018 Heaven Bookmark and Share

Brooklyn dream pop outfit Heaven initially formed in late 2010 when 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 more than worthwhile given the spectacular 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 title-track “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 under appreciated 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 sylistic 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. (heavennyc.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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May 28th 2018

I came across this article and enjoyed reading through, learning about Heaven. They sound really interesting.

It reminded me of a song I really like called “Beyonce Heaven.” I find the song very inspiring because I think of all those who passed before me. “Heaven couldn’t wait for you” is one of the lyrics and it means a lot to me hearing that.

I thought about how we are all still living on Earth and those that we have lost throughout our lives, the word “lost” actually isn’t a good word for that because in reality, we have gained knowledge of their acceptance into Heaven where we eventually will be at.

Just the thought of knowing that we have those who have moved onto Heaven that are currently there, we will be comfortable about arriving since they can guide us in the correct path when we get there.

I think your work is amazing.