On Sunday, July 14th, the New York band Heaven put on a small show at the Rock Shop. It was pretty heavenly.
The band is a collaboration of four New Yorkers: guitarist/vocalist Matt Sumrow (The Comas, Dean and Britta), drummer Mikey Jones (The Big Sleep, Swervedriver), keyboardist Ryan Lee Dunlap (Fan-Tan) and bassist Luke Hayden Senkbeil. Formed in 2009-2010, the band has created a kind of groovy psychedelic, dream pop, noise pop and shoegaze blending of sounds that is approachable, soothing and transformative.
The day they played at the Rock Shop was a rather somber one, with the news of the Zimmerman verdict casting a dark cloud over the press and public. Inside the quiet darkness of the Rock Shop, it was calm. All four band mates played as though no one else had been in the room, exerting a kind of quiet coolness as they played into their instruments. Jones’ drumming was especially sharp, creating a strong foundation for music that gently floated and glided along at times. His style slowly and subtly built up in energy throughout the band’s short set.
It was especially interesting that all of these musicians, who looked quite different from one another, put together such a beautiful and captivating blend of emotion. I looked behind me, and the small crowd was growing larger. One song ended, and a girl shouted, “You’re so good!” The subdued band gave a cool “Thanks” back, and they went right back to playing. The final song finished with some noise and reverberations, as the band walked off without a word. Walking back outside, the world was buzzing with emotion. I took a deep breath, exhaled, and walked down the street.
Heaven’s debut LP, Telepathic Love, is out July 30th on Goodnight Records. The band will be putting on an album show this Wednesday, July 31st, at the Mercury Lounge.