Heliotropes, the flower, are named for an exceptional characteristic: the plant orients itself to the direction of the sun, consistently following the lights. Perhaps it is no coincidence, then, that Heliotropes’, the band, new album is a brighter affair than their debut.
Heliotropes released its sophomore record last Friday—July 15—through The End Records. Titled Over There That Way, the record arrived three years after debut album A Constant Sea. In those years, the band’s makeup changed greatly; bandleader Jessica Numsuwankijkul is now the only remaining founding member. With the change in lineup comes a concomitant change in the band’s sound, though a sea change it is not.
The band’s crunching, aggressive sound is still there on many tracks, but just as many incorporate dream pop or doo-wop. The production remains lo-fi with Numsuwankijkul’s vocals providing an ethereal, even wispy, element. This contrast is best exhibited in Over There‘s… centerpiece, “Dardanelles Part I” and “Dardanelle Part II.” “Part I” is characterized by a driving, distorted guitar riff, while “Part II” strolls along, providing room for a wider soundscape to form.