Heavy Sigh- Hard to Care (Album Review)
On Hard to Care, Clifton, New Jersey dream-pop/emo band Heavy Sigh deliver songs that find beauty in the most vulnerable pits of human emotion. The album feels like a therapy of sorts for its creators as they navigate the complications of relationships and loss in general. These experiences may be independently felt by one member of the band, or shared by Heavy Sigh’s five members, Suzy Forman (vocals, guitar), Eric Schoolz (bass), Gregory Maniago (synth, trumpet, percussion), Jesse Rinaldi (drums), and Noel Herbolario (guitar). Although an album such as this sounds like something that would be dark and full of so much negative emotion, there are also musical revelations that make us realize that maybe our most dark, vulnerable moments in life can be reflected on fondly, even though pain can still seep through those experiences. FInding something to be positive about while so deep in the abyss of darkness is something that so many people struggle with, but this album makes it feel possible in some way. It’s an epic record full of so much uncertainty, but so much hope.
This record, with other instrumental arrangements, could easily feel like an exhausting navel-gazy look at one’s self, but the band consisting of 5 people really use their strength in numbers to make sure that isn’t the case. There is so much to love about every little thing that happens on this record. Moments that really make this record stand out would be the way Heavy Sigh uses the abilities of all of their band members to make this feel like a cohesive work of art. The standout moments for me, personally come by way of Gregory Maniago. The way the band uses his skills with various instruments really help this already great group of musicians reach the next level of emotion in their music. This little addition really helps songs like ‘Cold Throw,’ ‘Downtime All the Time,’ and ‘The Promise’ stick out as highlights. The use of synths and trumpet throughout the album really help tie the two distinct genres of emo and dream-pop together, which was probably the whole point in including them on the record, but it really does act as an exclamation mark and something to comfort the listener while listening to these songs. Again, all of the members do a great job at keeping this album interesting for the listener, but the inclusion of the instruments Gregory brings to the table really helps this one reach another level.
Heavy Sigh is such a promising band, but I feel as if there are things that they could do with their sound in the future to propel forward. I think a lot of our emotional moments that we get on this record do feel a little more watered down than what they could have been, but I don’t think this should discredit what this band has done throughout the record. While they do a great job at engaging the audience, the album does kind of drag on and becomes a sleepy experience after long. I understand and love the dreamy vocal performance throughout, after all this is influenced by dream-pop, but I feel as if we don’t see enough variety in vocal performance throughout to really fully grasp the peaks and valleys that this record does contain.
Heavy Sigh brings a lot of great and much needed emotion to the table in a year that has been really tough to navigate for us all and helps us remember that we can look back at the bad times and realize that even though our lives are a complete wreck right now, we can still take a step back and breathe and realize that there is beauty in the moments where we feel the most helpless. This is a strong statement that takes a very mentally mature person to fully realize, and I don’t think it’s any accident that this is the band who is conveying this message to us, because their sound is right at home with these very vulnerable statements.
Favorite tracks: People Pleaser, The Promise, Downtime All the Time
Least favorite tracks: No Hell, That Bad
Listen to 'People Pleaser' from Heavy Sigh's album, Hard to Care, below: