Brooklyn, New York, it seems, is still the location du jour not only for musical surprises, but for great alternative music in general. From four women who met playing Brian Eno covers (yes, you did read that correctly) comes A Constant Sea – a 180 degree turn that eschews their hometown’s infamous experimental streak in favour of no-nonsense psychedelic and metal-influenced rock.
While A Constant Sea may not be particularly experimental, it remains an extremely exciting record. Heliotropes, for the most part, like to play it loud, but there are also clear cues taken from fellow label-mates Warpaint – Everyone Else in particular is a more chilled out stoner jam, while the back end of the album features quieter acoustic instrumentation, ending on the almost lullaby-like Christine. Even when Heliotropes are playing it cool, however, frontwomen Jessica Numsuwankijkul and Amber Myers still maintain a certain ferocity in their vocals, with Moonlite being one of many tracks bearing an uncanny resemblance to early Cat Power records.
A Constant Sea isn’t the sound of a band that met both only four years ago and in a completely different musical guise. It sounds like a group of long-time friends playing the music that they love, and playing it very well.