By Anna Valdez
Web Content Contributor
It’s a hard day when the world loses a music artist, let alone a talented duo. Members of the English indie rock band Her’s–along with their tour manager, Trevor Engelbrektson– were involved in a car crash in late March while travelling for their North American tour. The Liverpool-based group, composed of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, were heading from Phoenix, Arizona, to Santa Ana, California, when the crash occurred. Record label Heist or Hit described the musicians as one of the UK’s “most loved up and coming bands.” The group’s talent and good-nature, both as musicians and as people, has already impacted music lovers everywhere.
Referring to themselves as an “international supersonic spectral wave,” Her’s were working to make their mark in the ever-changing music world. Their music is described as ‘oddball pop’ and has been praised for its colorful and eccentric style. Those who have witnessed the group live would agree that their chemistry was evident in the way they performed. They knew how to connect with the audience and give a performance that made people dance and sing without a care in the world. Her’s were one of those hidden gems of a band where you just know they will fit perfectly into your playlist.
Their 2017 nine-song album, Songs of Her’s, was released in May 2017 and features their debut track, “Dorothy.” This album landed a special place in my heart from the moment I listened to “Marcel,” which was the first track that introduced me to the group’s artistry. When I first listened to “Marcel,” I knew right away I would have it playing on repeat. “Marcel” is the third sweet track of the album and has a touching backstory to match. In an interview with HRMNY Presents, the duo revealed that they wrote the song to commemorate a man by the same name.
By chance, the group stumbled upon a wallet at a vintage shop that happened to carry an early ’80s ID card belonging to Marcel Müller. After Stephen and Audun tried to return the ID, they discovered that Marcel had passed away. Their song, “Marcel,” was the band’s heartwarming way of commemorating this chance encounter. Additionally, the rest of the album just makes you want to spend the afternoon daydreaming or relaxing in a field of wildflowers. It’s a collection of songs that don’t follow a strict set of rules; rather, it’s a mixture of styles and sounds that don’t sit still, a quality that Stephen and Audun are praised for.
Their second album, Invitation to Her’s, was released in August 2018 and features 11 tracks of wholesome indie pop goodness. The album’s title references the fictional soap opera Invitation to Love from the American TV drama Twin Peaks. However, the band notes that the album represents more than just a clever title.
It has three distinct meanings, which Audun said are “Invitation to Love [Twin Peaks reference]; Invitation to Her’s [the band]; and the mysterious invitation to this being, who is Her.” It seems a bit obscure, but that’s what makes Her’s fascinating. Additionally, the vibrancy in their songs is equivalent to Stephen and Audun’s nature, which many have described as energetic, gentle and hilarious. The album exhibits a style of pop that feels nostalgic and fun. With tracks like “Harvey,” “Mannie’s Smile,” “If You Know What’s Right,” and “Low Beam,” you’re sure to be taken to a place that feels a lot like an 80’s teen movie (think The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink), and I mean that in the best possible way.
Like many up-and-coming indie artists, Her’s contributed something special to the music community and one that can only be described as genuine, wholehearted talent. One of the great things about music is that it reminds you that you’re not alone when it comes to your feelings. With its mix of groovy melodies and sweet lyrics, “Invitation to Her’s” and “Songs of Her’s” feels like a collection of warm and happy memories. Stephen and Audun knew just how to pull at our heartstrings with their talks of love, life and everything in between, much like those deep talks with your best friend in the late hours of the night.
Perhaps in this way, Her’s was that ‘friend to all’ who knew just the right things to say whenever life got crazy. I wish I had the opportunity to see Her’s live; however, I feel lucky to have come across their music when I did. Their free-spiritedness and ‘oddball’ vibe will continue to leave a lasting impression on the music world and beyond for years to come.
Featured image via Wikipedia.