With their unique brand of psychedelic drum pop and tropical-tinged, danceable tunes, Beauty Heart have gained a hard-core following of fans dedicated to their exotic rhythms. Their new album, Mixed Blessings, is a kaleidoscopic party record filled with beats and memorable hooks. Here, they talk about Mixed Blessings, comparisons to Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend, and the influence of Henri Rousseau.
Your new album is out now; how would you describe the album as a whole?
The album is a jumble sale of rusty rhythms, vintage melodies and way far out vibes. It’s like bacon and maple syrup, give it three tries then you’re hooked.
Who were your biggest influences and inspirations when making the album?
I think our aspirations were to make this album of messed up pop tracks that at first make no sense but then, gradually, start to make you shake your ass and lose your shit. Our inspirations? Keyboard Cat.
In the past you’ve been compared to bands like Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend. How do you feel about being compared to them?
It’s great at first, because they are both great bands, for totally different reasons. One for pushing boundaries and one for writing great pop tracks. So being compared is only a compliment. But then, when people don’t shut up about it, you just get a bit whingey and moany and start to totally doubt your artistic integrity, which hurts. Then you go back to the first feeling to make yourself feel better, and the cycle starts again.
Rhythm and percussion is obviously a massive part of your sound since three of you are drummers. Do you ever find it difficult to create beats or does having multiple drummers give you extra freedom?
Well actually, Josh is classically trained at the French Horn. Beats come pretty easy though, and they’re super fun to make. They’re even more fun when you get in the studio and can start to play with how they fit on top of, and around each other. Yeah, we cream over a good beat.
You formed at Goldsmith’s College and were originally a video and art music collective. Did going to art school shape the direction or psyche of the band? Did it help forge ideas of what the band should sound like?
We didn’t form at Goldsmith College, unfortunately. It would be great to be part of the pedigree that comes from that place. Sadly we went to its dyslexic younger brother down the road, Camberwell College of Arts. But being at Art College did totally influence our attitude towards being in a band. I think it made us take it all a little less seriously.
Does art and film still influence you and play a large part in your life? Or are you solely concentrating on the music now?
I think it’s played a big role throughout our development as a band, and we often reference films and works whilst creating new ideas for our music and videos. An artist that we collectively took inspiration from for this record was Henri Rousseau, his fantastical jungle paintings are a favourite. We like to have a big input with our music videos but truthfully are focusing most on the music now. It’s what people are talking about more and we’re all people pleasers. We can’t help it.
Words: Eugenie Johnson
Mixed Blessings is out now.