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Heavy Chest - Heavy Chest x BENEE - Single Review: Sunday926

19 Jul 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth

I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying the new offering from Heavy Chest; a dreamy collab with BENEE, how exciting is that!? And a very new and different sound altogether for this band, led by the talented Andre Smith. 

Heavy Chest have been a long-time permanent feature on my favourite playlist, so when I first put Sunday926 on to begin reviewing it, I was not hearing the Heavy Chest sound that I'm familiar with. That is, until Smith's unique and instantly recognisable voice chimes in, smooth and comforting, with those signature melodies and slides. I was spellbound by the second listen. 

I love the production on this track; kicking off with a low-fi soft-shoe beat, with dollops of buttery synth rippling out into distant vocal echoes that shimmer and sparkle. BENEE's voice is captivating as it wavers and dips in her most unusual vocal style, and the blend is very satisfying with Smith's voice adding strength and stability to the vocal mix in the chorus.

After a short bridge section sung in tandem, the track breaks right down to just the beat for 4 bars, and it's genius. Coming back in with BENEE alone singing the chorus, she squeezes and chokes out each syllable in her unique way; so close and intimate it's like she's whispering right into my ear. It's absolutely beautiful to listen to. 

Sunday926 is an enchanted state that I want to stay in forever. Perfectly capturing the respective styles of these two icons of New Zealand music, and blending them together in a delicious dream-pop soundscape. It's both mesmerising and addictive.

A massive well done to Heavy Chest, who are currently touring. I wish them every success with their tour and this gorgeous single.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Heavy Chest

Heavy Chest was started as a solo project by Andre Smith in 2017, but since the first solo shows in Wellington, the band has evolved into a dreamy three-piece live experience. The release of debut album Pre Heat in 2017 marked a change in the lineup backed now by Josh Brown (drums) and Joseph Shepheard (bass), and since then the band have put together an impressive catalogue of live shows and sonic releases.

April 2020 saw Heavy Chest take to the road with their new EP Zoom&Enhance to traverse width and breadth of this beloved Aotearoa, on their most expansive national tour to date.

The band's first release in nearly two years; Zoom&Enhance was recorded in Wairarapa near Lake Ferry, and the result of the band's first time collaborating on a recording project together (with previous releases completed by front man Andre Smith).

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