Album review: Heavy Hearts – On a Chain

“On a Chain” is the new EP from Heavy Hearts, a band from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, but it was initially planned as a full length follow up to their debut album “Bliss”. “Early on the ideas were pretty far off from the material we’d written for ‘Bliss'”, explains the band’s guitarist/vocalist Justin Glatt. “We decided we’d release it as an EP and see what kind of response we got.”

Heavy Hearts’ ifluences draw from early 2000’s emo and ‘90’s alternative rock. My initial reaction was that “On a Chain” sounds like a more intimate Thirty Seconds to Mars, mixed with some grunge. While “On a Chain” was initially intended to be a full length album, the shorter format gave them more freedom to experiment. “When writing songs for an EP.” Glatt explains, “it always feels like we have a little bit more room to let the songs stand on their own rather than fit cohesively as a full record.”

In the past, their songwriting process was to start with a riff and jam on it until it builds into a completed song. This time, the band used a more methodical approach, working in the studio to write with an iterative process. “We’d just demo an idea and gradually build on it that way,” the singer explains. “We didn’t really get together and jam the new songs until it was time to head to the studio.” This new approach to songwriting plays largely into the upgraded sound of this record. “It was easier to communicate with each other where we pictured an idea going” he explains. “I don’t think parts like the electronic outro in the song “Headroom” would have happened if we wrote how we had in the past by just jamming ideas over and over.”

Heavy Hearts will play Montreal on December 10th at Piranha Bar, with support from Goldfinch and King of Scorn. Fans can expect a high energy concert with lots of songs, and hopefully the band can have an easier time in our city than they’ve had before. “There was one time after a show where we had to spend the night in the van,” Glatt recalls.”We had stopped in a Walmart parking lot, and after a while this loud alarm noise went off for what seemed like forever. We spent the whole time trying to figure out what it was, but it wasn’t coming from anywhere in the plaza where we’d parked. Scared the shit out of us!”



Jean-Frederic Vachon
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