There’s something uniquely powerful about working with family. Texas sibling duo Maggie and Tyler Heath unite to form the The Oh Hello’s, with an eclectic-sounding indie folk-rock style that is inventive and fun to listen to. The Oh Hello’s cite Mumford and Sons, The Civil Wars, and Los Campesinos! as their musical influences, and one can definitely feel that vibe in their rhythm, choices in instrumentation and harmonizing vocals.
The band’s self-titled EP album, released in December 2011, is comprised of four tracks that draw inspiration from Irish folk songs in both sound and message. Songs “Lay Me Down” and “Trees” pull out all the stops, with fast-paced, foot-stomping rhythms, whereas “Cold Is the Night” is a quieter, more reflective piece that deals with loneliness and expresses the sentiment that “we carry our lives around in our memories.”
The first song I heard from The Oh Hello’s EP was “Hello My Old Heart,” which is softer-spoken compared to the other tracks on the album. It is performed with acoustic guitar and the Heath siblings’ beautiful harmonizing vocals, not to mention the pure poetry that is their lyrics:
“Nothing lasts forever
somethings aren’t meant to be
but you’ll never find the answer
until you set your old heart free ”
Effectually, the songs are listed on the EP in the form of a story, beginning with the acknowledgement of the difficulties of love and freedom, and coming full circle by the end of the album to the conclusion of embracing them.
The Oh Hello’s take something old and make it new, which is truly a challenge in the music industry these days. Their sound, while being familiar to indie folk fans, certainly hits a new note with the Irish folk song influences. The album’s story is captivating and cathartic, capable of striking a chord with listeners. The Oh Hello’s encourages the optimist in us all, and reminds us that “heartache pales in comparison to love.”