New York – Montreal four-piece Heat, comprised of Susil Sharma (vocals, guitar), Matthew Fiorentino (guitar), Raphael Bussieres (bass) and Alex Crow (guitar) have been a band for the past few years, but have only recently settled into their current four-piece lineup. Currently reissuing 2014’s self-titled EP under new title Rooms, which includes the two new tracks “All I Wanna Do” and “This Life,” the band has been garnering buzz with what could easily be described as an essential soundtrack for the summer. Frequently compared to both The Strokes and Lou Reed, within Rooms Heat set themselves apart as a contemporary outfit with their own blend of Americana and indie rock ’n’ roll vibes.
Although in a recent interview with Noisey, the band downplayed the importance of lyricism, Sharma’s apt lyrics are an essential component of what makes this EP immediately engaging. In “All I Wanna Do”, Sharma laments that “All I wanna do / is sit inside my room / and put some records on / and get fucked up with my friends,” creating instant relateability within the grunge-driven melodies in a few concise lines. Sharma’s lyrical aptitude can be summed up with “25,” a highlight of the EP and track certainly destined to soundtrack a future movie montage, where he describes “walking down the street / in the hangover sunshine” with unmistakable clarity. The music of Heat would also be the kind one would want to listen to in such a state, similarly setting the listener at ease and forcing them to question the kind of life they’re living.
Rooms thematically delves into the quarter-life crisis most (all) of us experience, punctured with girls, wasting time alone and with friends, and the nagging sense of responsibility and how much all of the above is worth. Heat seem hyper-aware of the passage of time, from the directly stated in “25” (“and I’m thinking about time / have I got much more to lose”), to almost answering themselves in last track “Wild Eyes” (“there’s nothing left to lose / but there’s something I still choose”). The sort of poised abstractions and afterthought statements scattered throughout Rooms can be summed up in Heat’s old press release, written fairly eloquently by Sharma, in which small details combine to become something much greater than the sum of its parts, yet nothing without them.
The Sound of Heat is the sound of confusion. Tuneful but tone-deaf; beat-down and blown out of proportion. It’s a neat scotch and a mess of a life. You can find it scrawled on bathroom walls, hastily jotted down on cocktail napkins, deleted from your browsing history, lacing your designer drugs. It’s you putting the moves on your best friend’s girl. It’s a couple bedroom demos turned into a Montreal rock band.
The strengths of Rooms come from this acknowledgement and its appreciation for the glamour of everyday life without an overdose of nostalgia. It’s comparable to U.K. artist Only Real’s debut LP Jerk At The End Of The Line, or Happyness’ Weird Little Birthday, with similar melancholic commentary and jangly guitar riffs that imbue the listener with the assurance that no matter where they are in life it’s an alright place to be.
Rooms is out on digital via Kitsune on April 27, and on vinyl May 4. You can see a list of Heat’s extensive tour dates on their bandcamp here, where they’re currently touring the U.K. and Europe before heading to North America to play a couple of NYC shows prior to a homecoming tour in Canada.
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