Dub Pop trio Heavensbee formed in New York City in 2015 around the talents of Roger Apollon Jr., Megg Howe and Marc Wasserman who have all played in a variety of ska and reggae groups together and separately including Bigger Thomas, Across The Aisle and Rude Boy George.
Seeking to create a unique brand of dark torch songs, the three holed up for six months over the late winter and early spring of 2015 in a tiny rehearsal space where they worked to hone their sound. The group cites influences that run the gamut from Lover’s Rock, dub reggae and ska (The Specials, No Doubt) to 80’s new wave (Depeche Mode, Fun Boy Three) to trip hop (Massive Attack) and indie rock (the xx).
Soul Mates is largely concerned with the enormous challenges of successfully navigating romantic relationships –with the ultimate goal of finding, and holding onto, one’s perfect mate. Having said that, it’s not an album full of happy love songs, but it certainly contains some very beautiful original music about the darker side of looking for love. While the dub-pop sound is grounded in ska and reggae, they mix in bits of indie rock (think The xx) and 80’s new wave, and everything is coated in an appealing pop sheen.
Of note, the standout tracks “Life Boat,” “Bombs Away,” and “Time Is An Illusion” contain compelling lyrical exchanges between Howe and Apollon–illustrating the push and pull/point-of-view of two people engaged, locked, or trapped in a relationship (oftentimes going south).
Roger Apollon Jr.