The Half Hearts to play gigs at OT, Howard’s Club HWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A performance by The Half Hearts is anything but halfhearted.
“We all have acting backgrounds, so we get really theatrical. It’s a lot of jumping around. We’ve been compared to a cabaret,” said singer-guitarist Flip Arkulary. “Sometimes there are costumes involved. It’s not unusual to see a bearded lady at one of our concerts.”
The Minneapolis-based foursome sounds like a mix of progressive rock, ’70s pop, grunge and surf, Arkulary said.
“We get compared to everybody from Fleetwood Mac to the Pixies and I’ve heard the B-52s. It’s a mix for sure,” said Arkulary, who has been called Flip since the day he was born thanks to the in-utero gymnastics he used to right himself when he was expected to be born breech.
Singer-bassist Robert Cox, singer-keyboardist Caitie Collins and singer-drummer Mitch Miller round out the group.
The Half Hearts’ sophomore release, “Uptown Sounds,” set for release May 10 on Apter Records, chronicles the band members’ lives in Minneapolis during the past two years. The title refers to an artsy section of town where a couple of the members live.
“If I could make one album in my entire life, this would be it,” Arkulary said. “We all sing on it and we all wrote the songs. Caitie and I wrote most, but all of us really put our stamp on it. It’s an ode to the city and how we all came together.”
The group’s first album, “After the Flood,” covered Arkulary’s journey as he graduated from the University of Iowa and left to work on Obama’s presidential campaign as his college town was being ravaged by a flood.
“I was saying goodbye to all I knew as a flood was washing away my city,” Arkulary said. “It was a good metaphor for coming into adulthood for me — a physical and metaphorical flood.”
After the campaign, Arkulary moved to Minneapolis, where he ran into Cox, a childhood friend from Duluth, Minn., and Collins, an acquaintance from college.
“Caitie and I both majored in music. She’s an opera singer and me in classical composition. When those things didn’t work out for us, we became rock singers and songwriters,” Arkulary said.
Miller replaced the group’s previous drummer earlier this year.
“We had a drummer quit halfway through the album. It sparked a lot of fights,” he said. “There were a couple days we were plotting each other’s deaths. Like Fleetwood Mac actually.”
With Minneapolis so far from the next major city, its indie music scene has developed its own unique sound, Arkulary said.
“Minneapolis is really insular,” Arkulary said. “We wanted to create a dialogue about what that means. Where do we fit in as a band? Are we part of this insular sound or are we part of something different on top of that? I could go through layers and layers of that. It’s intellectual masturbation.”
Arkulary hopes people come to the show with an open mind.
“What we’re selling is not your typical indie rock experience,” he said. “We get really into our act. We just have a lot of passion. I’m really lucky to work with the three most passionate people I know. I want people to walk away with a catharsis. I want them to show up with an open mind and leave feeling that they’ve been spiritually satisfied.”
The Half Hearts will play Howard’s Club H, 210 N. Main St., Bowling Green, at 8 p.m. May 12 and Ottawa Tavern, 1817 Adams St., with The Matt Truman Ego Trip on May 13.
For more information, visit the website www.thehalfhearts.com.