Album Review: Heather Peace – The Thin Line

HP ALBUM PIC

By Anne Austin

This is an album which is going to be making its way onto many a summer anthem playlist. A mixture of emotive lyrics, exceptional vocals and instrumental genius collides, resulting in the projection of this engrossing album. Covering various aspects of love and life, Heather tugs at the heart strings with this latest offering.

 

Anne Austin: How nervous and excited are you about the album release?

Heather Peace: I was quite nervous when it first went on iTunes where you can listen to a 45 second preview of each track. It is done now and it is out there. A lot of industry people have had the album for a bit now and the feedback has been really positive. It has been a long time in the making.

 

I am not even going to build up to it. The Thin Line is 11 tracks of raw emotion, the best vocals I have heard in recent years and a variety of instrumentals that encapsulate this finished product. Peace has brought in some sixties, strings and brass to belt out some big tunes.  Throw in some fantastic harmonies and stomping power ballads it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on more than one occasion.

Anne Austin: Is it true Heather that you wrote some of the album during your stay in Glasgow?

Heather Peace: Yeah, I wrote most of the album when I was up in Glasgow because I had all my kit with me. There was an energy missing and that is why I left Waterloo Road so I could concentrate on writing. It has got to work as a whole body of work. If the whole album was like We Can Change you’d be switching off because you need a mix and a balance.

The Thin Line has me reaching for the volume control every time the tempo alters. I am sure my neighbours will be here any moment to thank me for sharing such musical talent with them. One of the themes in this track is that we have all become desensitized to atrocities around us and it really makes you think of what is going on in the world.

The second track, No Mercy, is a reminder to everyone of that sexy scenario that everyone has surely had. You know when you think I shouldn’t really be here doing this but bloody hell it is good so you go with it’? Well No Mercy is the soundtrack for everyone who has lived a little on the dangerous side. If I ever have one of those experiences I will be sure to recall it to No Mercy! The synth on this adds to the edginess. Listen once and you can’t help listening again!

Anne Austin: Do you feel that the way people buy music has changed? Are we more likely to buy a track or two from iTunes instead of buying complete albums?

Heather Peace: I think for a while back that had been the case. You pick a single because it is an instant earworm but those can be the singles you get sick of the quickest. Then there are other album tracks that just grow on you. Buying one track means you are missing out on those ones. The true music fans tend to want the album. With the likes of David Bowie bringing out a new single and Kate Bush on tour, you know people who know all about writing albums, I think it is changing back to appreciating albums in their entirety.

Dance with the Devil is one track which certainly grows on you. It speaks of times you shouldn’t have at a particular point in life because you know it isn’t good for you but you do it anyway. This one is passionate and has a mysterious edge to it. The chime of the piano strike at the end is perfect closure to this number.

We Can Change is Heather’s big gay anthem and highlights that sexuality does not define everything about someone. Is it really necessary to prefix a name with their sexuality? No and this is what We Can Change is telling us all.

 Anne Austin: Heather you look really happy in this video for We Can Change and I reckon there was no acting involved?

Heather Peace: Yeah I am happy. Making music videos is not my favourite thing to do because you are looking down the camera lens which is odd. It goes against every instinct.

House for a broken Heart is easy to relate to and will be for anyone who has had a tad too much to drink and is heartbroken but is offered a safety net to sleep it off and think again in the morning. I can’t help thinking what an excellent soundtrack this album would make.

Lily tells the story of someone wishing to seek revenge for a friend who has experienced domestic abuse. This is lyrical storytelling at its best. So much of contemporary music is repetitive nonsense without any soul. And there is a market for those kind of songs. Every track on The Thin Line tells a story and is so far removed from the mass produced pop we hear so often that it is utter bliss. Hopefully this can be an example to people just starting out in the industry.

One of my favourites is Love Affair with Misery which gives off an optimism you can derive from an awful situation. The guitar riffs in this are truly immense. I cannot wait to hear this live in Glasgow over the summer.

Anne Austin: Do you think if Scotland becomes Independent we will see less of artists like yourself?

Heather Peace: I won’t stop coming to Scotland. I don’t want you to go but it definitely won’t stop me coming up there. I love Scotland.

I Pick Flowers, along with so many tracks on this album, talks of a certain way we tend to live now. With the pace of modern life the song suggests to take to take five minutes to ask and hear how others really are. A good reality check.

Anne Austin: You have previously performed with Alison Moyet. Who else would you like to perform with?

Heather Peace: Stevie Wonder.

Anne Austin: Can I suggest something?

Heather Peace: Go on then.

Anne Austin: I would like to hear you and Lisa Stansfield. What do you think?

Heather: Yeah! I am a big fan of Lisa. Get that set up! If we came up to Scotland and started bantering with the crowd you wouldn’t have a clue what we were saying. Lisa is even more Northern than me. In fact, me, Alison Moyet and Lisa Stansfield would be awesome. It’d be like check out the eighties and nineties divas.

photo credit: Michelle Robek

photo credit: Michelle Robek

                                                            

Not only is the 9th of June the release of The Thin Line and the single We Can Change. In perfect harmony Heather opened the first ever rainbow crossing in Europe in her home town in Brighton.

 

 

 

 

See Heather this Friday, June 13th, at HMV Argyle Street, Glasgow at 5:30pm

You can also catch her at one of her upcoming gigs:

Mon Jun 09 2014,The Latest Music Bar, Brighton, UK

Tue Jun 10 2014,  Stokey Stop, London, UK

Fri Jun 13 2014, AXM Club, Glasgow, UK

Sat Jun 14 2014, Smooth Live On The Waterfront 2014Pier Head, Liverpool, UK

Sat Jun 21 2014, York Pride 2014The Knavesmire, York, UK

Sat Jul 19 2014, Pride Glasgow 2014Glasgow, UK

Sat Aug 02 2014 Brighton Pride 2014, Preston Park, Brighton, UK

Thu Sep 04 – 08 2014, ELLA Festival 2014Pacha, Palma De Mallorca, Spain

Mon Oct 20 2014, O2 Academy 2 Oxford, Oxford, UK

Tue Oct 21 2014, Waterfront Studio, Norwich, UK

Thu Oct 23 2014, O2 Academy 2 Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

Fri Oct 24 2014, Manchester Academy 2, Manchester, UK

Sat Oct 25 2014, The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, UK

Mon Oct 27 2014, Leeds City Varieties, Leeds, UK

Tue Oct 28 2014, Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham, UK

Thu Oct 30 2014, Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK

Fri Oct 31 2014, Brighton Corn Exchange, Brighton, UK

Sat Nov 01 2014, Thekla, Bristol, UK

 

Follow Anne on Twitter: @AnneFKAustin

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