Songs for hamsters in chocolate mugs

Nat Johnson & The Figureheads – What the heart pours into

The skinny: An EP of rocking songs!

The review proper: Exactly what it says on the tin.

Stream – ‘Margot’


Nat Johnson & The Figureheads do a trio of nice songs that are neither antifolk, pop nor rock. They are, well, nice songs. There will probably be people who take a gander at the band, think it’s another female fronted band singing love songs and disregard them. And they’d be wrong. There’s more to it, much more.

‘Margot’ is simply great and it grabs your attention on the get go. “Margot lies / ’cause she understands it / All he has / is a chance to make it” is that line about being wide-eyed and full of hopes, maybe they won’t all become a reality but you still dream about them. The song is fast and catchy, with an underlying sadness in it.

After a very thoughtful intro, still filled with longing, ‘We stole light’ shows that there’s hope, where that proverbial “chance to make it” seems more attainable. Again, there is a sadness in Nat Johnson’s voice but the music is filled of good vibes and the mood really lightens up.

Now, whether there is a light at the end of the tunnel or a carrot being dangled over a snare, it depends on your outlook in life. Great drumming by Neil, and, musically speaking, ‘We stole light’ is the catchiest song of all three, as everyone gets their say in how the song unfolds.

All good things come to an end and ‘Mick Kelly’, the third and final track, is again heavily drenched in feelings (“So close your eyes / and tell yourself / to fall in love / with something else”) but, like in previous tracks, there is hope, always a small glint of hope pouring through, whether by repeating an affirmation or by some cheeky musical moment that makes you smile a bit in face of the oncoming storm.

What the heart pours in is a collection of three beautiful rock pop ditties with a lot of heart, a lot of longing and a lot re-playability (or so says my last.fm stats).

Update: got the lyrics wrong (again), so here’s what it should’ve said: “Margot laughs cos she understands that all we have is a mess that I would do owt to hide and it hurts to lie” and “Margot laughs cos she understands that all we have is a chance to make an informed rehash and it hurts to lie”. I still like the song very much but it just got a little more melancholic.

—Sam

Links

Website. Soundcloud. Facebook. Twitter. Last.fm. Spotify.

Author: I want a hamster. Not a killer one, though.

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