Best known for his work recording and performing in iconic indie outfit, British India, Melbourne-based writer and multi-instrumentalist William Drummond today reveals Sweeping Up My Shadow – the debut single from his experimental new project, Heartbeatz.
As the refreshing first taste of his upcoming album ‘Memory::Loss’, the introduction to Heartbeatz is a vivid depiction of a Groundhog Day-style rut – waking up with aspirations for self-improvement and going to bed no different than before. Across multi-layered, complex rhythms guided by Drummond’s distinct vocals, Sweeping Up My Shadows intricately details the challenges of breaking free from this loop.
“Often it’s easy to fall into unhealthy cycles, whether it’s spiralling thoughts, alcohol dependency, etc. and when you are deep in the mires of grief those cycles can become particularly vicious,” explains Drummond. “It was written in the wake of my mother dying from cancer and the communication between everyone in my band falling apart. I would spend everyday writing songs in an old warehouse that was both my bedroom and my studio. I was on the ground floor and there were no windows.”
Recorded and mixed with producer/musical director Michael Belsar (Hayden James, G-Flip), Sweeping Up My Shadow is a polarising debut from Heartbeatz, encompassing the isolating darkness of the original windowless sessions and infusing it with an engrossing soundscape reminiscent of Gorillaz and Kasabian.
“We recorded in a studio above The Empress Hotel in North Fitzroy. During our first session together we instantly knew that we were a good creative match. He could see the vision I had for the album and brought his many varied talents to the project,” explains Drummond. “I would often invite friends in, several of them who’d never been in a studio before, to add small little moments. In this track you’ll hear my friend Charly Thorne singing ‘Start Again, Start Again’.”
With a rejuvenated mindset and open landscape to explore and experiment, the debut effort from Heartbeatz blends both industrial and ethereal instrumentation to introduce something new to each movement – showing that even in your darkest moments, there is room for light to seep in.
Heartbeatz is the musical project of William Drummond who originally started making music at age 16 with high school friends Nic Wilson, Declan Melia and Matthew O’Gorman. They formed British India in 2003, initially as an excuse to hang out together after school and learn their instruments. They didn’t consider themselves good enough to cover songs so from the very first jam they wrote their own.
With British India, Drummond has played well over 1000 gigs across almost every town in Australia, toured with The Rolling Stones, The Psychedelic Furs and Fall Out Boy and gone platinum with single I Can Make You Love Me and gold with single Suddenly.
Heartbeatz is a project Drummond didn’t know he was making for a long time. After losing his mother, who he was very close to, from an aggressive form of cancer, Drummond began writing for catharsis. The band he had been in since he was 16 and spent every day together with since was on hiatus and he was untethered. After over a year of writing on his own, Drummond realised that there was much more than just an album sitting there.
Through consistent themes of broken communication and grief (whilst still displaying hope for the future) it was time to bring someone else in and serendipitously Drummond’s good friend, producer and musical director Michael Belsar (G-Flip, Hayden James) moved into a studio above a pub and had free time. The pair began wading through the ocean of songs Drummond had been making and upcoming debut album, ‘Memory::Loss’ began to take shape.
With thanks to Habit Music