4

Nice guitars, shame about those vocals

The twist of fate that led me to cover both the Heather's debut album "Here, Not There" and their second single "Slices of Palama" will leave you R13 leaders with some convenient streamlining in opinion, seeing as the opinion that the debut album would be rather too - shrill - for some listeners' ears, also applies to the single.

The Heathers Irish twins Ellie and Loise MacNamara no less - are in the habit of making brief poplets, no more than 2 minutes in length ('Slices of Palama' is a mere 1 minute 55), with folk styled melodic guitars, and vocals that are emotive and poignant at best, screeching and abrasive at worst.

'Slices of Palama' has an engaging theme however: 'they say work will make you free but it won't' and, with some nauseatingly syrupy sentiment, the track is dedicated to the MacNamara's childhood friends the Fitzgerald twins, who they nicknamed 'Palama' and 'Slices.' The track's rapidly paced energetic tempo make somewhat heartrending guitar-made melodies fly by like trains, supplemented by a tenderly played violin, which gives the entire sound an endearing traditional tone, a trademark of the Heather's sound.

However, once you get to the chorus it may be time to crack out the earplugs. That powerful femininity that drives the whole track is overplayed in the vocals. The sustained note in the line 'enlighten me please' may sound a little like the proverbial nails on blackboard - but then again, some people don't mind nails on blackboards - do they?