The Heligoats are my go to for indie credibility, if you ever need to stump a hipster, drop their name, they won’t know them, which is infuriating to me. Twelve plus years of touring the nation in a van, multiple records, a tour to Spain, a tour of Ecuador, a feature on A.V. Club, Featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series, multiple Daytrotter sessions, and so on. Still on the fringe, yet they are the hardest working, friendliest and down to earth dudes you’ve never heard of. I want to fix that. Listen to The Heligoats. Listen to The Heligoats. Listen to The Heligoats.
Too often does the concept of singer-songwrriter bring up an image of a beat up acoustic guitar wearing a plaid-drenched-post-grunge-skinny-white-dude. This is not the case, with front man Chris Otepka, he wears the guitar in this relationship. From the first time seeing a solo show at The Hideout in Chicago, I have been hooked. Stage presence. A normal act requires a fistful of folk to command an audiences attention. Whereas The Heligoats can perform, to great effect, with any number of members with as few as just Otepka up to the 6 piece jamboree I saw at SXSW 2011.
The thing that immediately rapt me was his absolute command of the audience, between songs he would tell little stories about the songs, some are half truths some are complete fabrications, but you wont find these stories on the records, so you must go see him live. It adds a whole new layer to the music, it draws you in like a fireside chat. You’ll feel like you’re sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories.
“It’s the words” when I asked a chicago native affectionately nicknamed ‘Tug boat’ what turned him onto The Heligoats in the first place. “It’s the words, they’re serious action.” I completely agree, here are some samples for your consideration:
Right Then And There
…So draw all your conclusions
Then use them as a map
Stick close to your plans
If you get lost, just come back
Come on back to the start
Back into the dark…
All Joking Aside
…All drinking up energy
Drinking up anything just to survive over night
Well, for starters it’s just a couple chemicals between the terror and the terrorized…
…It’s a process but we’re making progress
Where the anti and biotic meet
Some take medicine some sike themselves out of it
Out of their minds and the wonder of what it means
To be a human being…
Watch the official video for “Drai Zich” here
Good for the world
Good for you
It’s good for nothing
But it’s all you can do to see the goodness in others
When you let yours shine through
But the dark hidden in our hearts
Can’t just be removed
With a fork and a knife and a spoon
Unless it’s fed the truth…
Listen to NPR Premiere of “Tofutti” here.
The new record “Back To The Ache” is available straight from the band at the link, or easily found on Amazon, iTunes, Best Buy, or Greyday Records. The Heligoats are nearly always on tour, keep an eye out on this page for tour info.