Picked to Click 2012: #5. Heavy Deeds
Photo by Emily CM Anderson
Heavy Deeds are in no hurry -- because they can't be, and because they don't want to be, and because nothing good comes of hurrying.
"This EP has taken a year to come around," says singer and percussionist Sara Bischoff. "We've taken our time recording. But once you've taken a certain amount of time, you might as well just take all the time you like. Make all the revisions. Master it when we can all be together. Figure out the best way to release it."
Heavy Deeds don't have an album, yet. The five psych-rock songs they recorded at Old Blackberry Way last autumn have spent a long year waiting to be mastered, getting a tweak here and there. The members often spend months apart while bassist Chris Bierden or guitarist Chris Rose tours with other projects.
"We started to accept that things would move at a slower pace," says Bischoff. "It's a really interesting way to be in a band. We're going to be in this band for a long while. There's no rush."
Speaking of, it's October, and Bierden has been on tour with you-know-who for ... well, it feels like forever. Especially to Bischoff. She's Heavy Deeds' singer and tambourinist. She's also Bierden's girlfriend, and they share a house with Molly Hilgenberg, their keyboardist, and a singer, too.
This is what Molly calls "a weird family," meaning the house, its occupants, their friendships, the music they make. Heavy Deeds has all a family's moving parts: leavetaking and reunion, absence and return, ambition and patience. They keep their own time, calmly absorbing one another's needs as a family might. "Go on if you need to. We'll be here." Stitch it in needlepoint, hang it in the foyer. So everything about Heavy Deeds feels exquisitely lived-in, tried-on, worn-well.
No small feat. Bischoff and Hilgenberg walked into Heavy Deeds utter newcomers. Not a minute of band experience between them, unless you count Hilgenberg's opera education as a mezzo soprano. Their bandmates, on the other hand, had the better part of a decade between them as Vampire Hands. If the name rings no bells, go buy a copy of Me and You Cherry Red.
"We're in the room with people who can count off a song by looking at each other," says Hilgenberg. "But it's not intimidating. They're warm and welcoming people. They make you feel like part of the family."
Yet there's also something uncanny in Heavy Deeds -- be it in the ring of their guitars, in the rise of their voices. Their songs are little returnings, epic dreams in miniature where everything is just so. Close your eyes and you've come home.
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