MP3 of the Week: ‘Sweet Little Nothings’ by Secondhand Heart

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Branding can be deceiving. With a song-title like ‘Sweet Little Nothings’ from a band called Secondhand Heart, you’d usually be right to expect some cutely husky folksinger, maybe a ukulele somewhere, fingerpicking plaintively.

It feels good to be wrong.

‘Sweet Little Nothings’ is doom blues, the kind that started off strong in the early naughties with The Black Keys, The White Stripes…even The Datsuns. Guitars go on spiritual journeys down desert highways, tambourines rattle like snakes, and drumkits go marching off jagged cliffs. You’re in flavour country, and it’s a big country.

Jess Carroll’s vocals are wild but never completely out of her control as she bends and crescendos around notes, Lily Parker’s harmonies offering a base to her freewheeling.

There might be a little whiff of schooled musicianship in Secondhand Heart (the riff is in 5/4 timing I think, which is slightly strange) but this technical proficiency doesn’t get in the way of the heart of their performance, which is crushing and climactic and full of feeling.

Secondhand Heart’s recently released debut EP is available here.

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