A horrible hack


A Bout De Heavenly: The Singles

Year Released: 2020
Format: LP
Label: Damaged Goods
Reviewed by MH on Nov 18, 2020
Collective Zine is of the right vintage to be familiar with Heavenly - risen from nearly all the ashes of Talulah Gosh and released 3 albums and a slew of singles in the 90s on Sarah Records (who I'd say they're pretty much synonymous with), K Records in the US and WIIIJA. Which leads us in a roundabout way to this retrospective album of their singles which is out on Damaged Goods who have put out a huge number of records going back decades - this is DAMGOOD357 so we're talking about a veritable plethora - books too, as there's a few in there amongst that discography. Ludicrous Lollipops is one of the bands from my memory banks in those days that I spotted in the discography as well as the likes of J Church, Wat Tyler, and Guns N Wankers. They even put out "New Art Riot" in 1990 by the Manic Street Preachers. Anyway, Heavenly were an indie pop outfit and this kicks off with their debut single "I Fell In Love Last Night" which has that same Pee Wee Herman quote at the start of it as Huggy Bear used a few years later on "Aqua Girl Star". This retrospective moves through the singles in order going from their more raw and jangly early days, to the days of riot grrrl (I saw Heavenly play with Huggy Bear and Mambo Taxi and others if my memory serves correct and they played shows with many of the riot grrrl bands in that period) and their latter period where they flirted with Britpop. There are plenty of highlights - "Atta Girl" is a great song and features Amelia and Cathy's vocal interplay with Cathy having joined on keyboards before the release of their second album. "Our Love Is Heavenly" is a jangle pop gem - it's my favourite Heavenly song. "So?" is sung acapella and deals with an abusive relationship. A trait of Heavenly was often an upbeat feel to the songs, while a closer look at the lyrics reveals a darkness - see also "Hearts and Crosses". You also get their cover version of "You Tore Me Down" by The Flamin' Groovies towards the end of the record. Good to get all these songs together on one release and a great reflection of how the band's sound evolved.

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