Goldheart Assembly
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Goldheart Assembly

Band Alternative Folk

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"When they're not being rocky, they're the British Fleet Foxes."

This London six-piece are purveyors of lovely melodies, ramshackle beardiness and the sound of banging doors. When they're not being rocky, they're the British Fleet Foxes.

Being hailed as the new Arcade Fire is so 2006. These days, guitar bands with a penchant for West Coast harmony rock are more likely to get compared to a certain Seattle act. And so it is that, because of their beards, perhaps, or the ethereal loveliness of their melodies, London six-piece Goldheart Assembly are finding themselves touted as the British Fleet Foxes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: early reports that MGMT were the new Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev hardly hindered their ascent, did it? No, it didn't. We haven't got time for rhetorical question-and-answer sessions. We've got new bands to find.

We're glad we found GA, but we're not alone. They've only been together a matter of months and already they've had page features in music weeklies and got prominent "indie" radio DJs frothing at the mouth – not a pretty sight when you know the DJs in question. They're hardly pretty at the best of times, but with froth on their mouths? Not nice. Much has been made of the fact that they're an amalgam of two former rival bands, led by Goldheart's two frontmen, the one "experimental and ramshackle", the other "professional and unartistic". GA are sort-of ramshackle and artistic, so it's a story with a happy ending. They finally buried the hatchet when Dale and Herbert, the Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris of the piece, met as they shovelled gibbon droppings at Whipsnade Zoo (we're saying gibbon for poetic effect; it could have been camel for all we know). They apparently bonded over a shared love of Tom Waits, cheap red wine and The Band's Last Waltz film (presumably while holding their noses). They're into caged animals and locomotives, the freaks: they currently record in an old steam-train museum in Norfolk where they've arrayed a range of vintage equipment among the classic traction engines and steamrollers. Oh, and doors – they love doors. In fact, they claim they got their best drum sound ever from banging a door. We'd love to hear what they can do with, say, a fridge.

They've got two modes, have the Assembly (not to be confused with Vince Clarke's old band, the Assembly, although it's easily done). They do chugging and rocky, or solemn and slow. Guess which we prefer? Oh Really, their debut single, fits into the former category, and appears to be a critique of the indie milieu – the scene that flagellates itself, anyone? – with references to the NME, the Camden Crawl and "new sensations". It's okay, but it's generic. They're better when they turn down the volume and let their voices soar – So Long St Christopher and The Last Decade have the haunting, hymnal quality of, what's that band again? Oh yes, Fleet Foxes. - The Guardian UK


Discography

So Long St.Christopher/Oh Really (Heron Recordings) single, released June 2009. Album forthcoming.

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Bio

London-based six-piece Goldheart Assembly have only been together just over a year but their immaculate folk-pop choruses mean that they've already achieved much in that short time. Their debut single on London indie label Heron Recordings sold out in a day and got them truckloads of airplay, an NME feature and led to triumphant shows at Glastonbury, V, Latitude and the Carling Weekend where they were the secret hit of the summer. Most excitingly it piqued the interest of Fierce Panda records for whom Goldheart Assembly have spent the last few months recording their debut album among the old engines in their drummer's dad's steam train museum in Norfolk. The record will be out very early in 2010 - and great things await them afterwards.

"They take a joyous acoustic beardy bunch of ideas and mess around with them like a cat playing with a ball of string. Already you could easily put them out on tour supporting Fleet Foxes or The Low Anthem. And they smile at each other on stage - which is so out of character for new bands these days (unless it's a nervous tick) that it's actually quite infectious." Steve Lamacq

"...the way they switch between playing the kind of ballad that wouldn't sound out of place at midnight at Glastonbury ('So Long St Christopher') and a garage belter like forthcoming single 'Oh Really' suggests this is a band with the whole world ahead of them." Martin Robinson, NME