HEHFU started off as the bedroom project of Caephilly native Brad Clarke, who crafted a niave yet charming fuzz pop sound utilising just his laptop and a amped up five string, trying his best not to make the neighbours bang on his wall yet again! Brad has now been joined by local musicians Tom (Bass) and Damian (Drums) and just released his debut album proper MUSIC FOR MY BROKEN EARS.
A ten track testament to a imaginative mind, playful lovelorn melodies are shot through with Brad’s playfully bittersweet vocals, a lo-fi yet joyous backdrop of fuzz box bar chords shiver against a clicking drum beat and are embellished by various decorative samples! Highlights from his album include standout ‘Learning Dutch’is a wonderful little dittie, a whirling dervish of clatters, bleeps, and synth sweeps while Brad’s heart on his sleeve vocal is endearingly grasping onto unrequited love “If you stay forever I’ll keep on loving you….’ In fact many of the lyrics here are like a dialogue between lovers, for instance ‘Winter Sun and Summer Snow’ juxtaposes a sweet suite of marvellously rippling chorus’ and shuddering rhythms, and even a xylophone for good measure, with Brad’s childlike melodic arc is similar in some small way to the catchiness of Ian Broudie’s work with the Lightening Seeds. ‘A Puppy is not just for Christmas’ sets a more heartbrokenly melancholic tone for the record’s second half the sighing ‘I Want you around’ refrain, is backed by almost Joy Division ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ esque synth motif. While the solemnly dreamy late night strum ‘The Checkmate’ perhaps hints at a captivating future direction for the HEHFU sound one that could see them moving into the 60s-ish territory of former lo-fi popster Spectrals.
HEHFU are at the forefront of bands in South Wales who are trading on an at times ramshackle but utterly exhilarating indie pop driven by the fuzz peddle(Joanna Gruesome, My Pet Monster), and arm full of early 90s records. HEHFU might just be the outfit with the most durability, and the ability to transcend any scene as the songwriting and musical talent here, shines through any productional limitations to provide a refreshingly life-affirming listen.
You can purchase ‘MUSIC FOR MY BROKEN EARS’ on vinyl it comes in Bottle-Blue-and-Silver Splatter and Bottle-Blue-Black-and-Silver Tri-Color, 100 of each. There is also a limited edition version on Classic Black vinyl wrapped in a Denim Jacket cover, edition of 50. The CD version can be purchased separately, and also includes a limited edition mini-Denim Jacket cover version.