Brooklyn-based genre-bending indie quartet Heliotropes began in 2009 when vocalist/songwriters Jessica Numsuwankijkul and Amber Myers posted an ad on Craigslist, initially seeking out musicians to play Brian Eno covers with. They were eventually joined by drummer Cici Harrison and bassist Nya Abudu, with singers Numsuwankijkul and Myers doubling on guitar and percussion, respectively. Their sound grew from their earliest days of covers of Eno and Spacemen 3 into a wide-ranging quilt of heavy sludge metal guitar tones, shoegaze drone rock, and occasional girl group vocal harmonies. The band's first recorded output came with 2011's Ribbons 7", followed by some digital-only releases. The next few years saw the band touring nationally, including stops at the South by Southwest festival and as support for Esben and the Witch. Their debut album, A Constant Sea, was released in 2013 on Los Angeles label Manimal Vinyl. The album received enthusiastic reviews, and was soon reissued on LP by Goodnight Records. In the winter of 2014, Numsuwankijkul became fascinated with World Wars I and II, reading books and watching documentaries on the conflicts. Numsuwankijkul's research on war informed her songwriting, which became the basis of Heliotropes' second album, 2016's Over There That Way. The album also introduced a new Heliotropes lineup, with Numsuwankijkul joined by guitarist Ricci Swift, bassist Richard Thomas, and drummer Gregg Guiffre. ~ Fred Thomas
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