After releasing several music videos in the last few months in preparation for their first EP, alternative pop band Heirsound have now compiled a set of six tracks for their official release, Merge. The duo, consisting of Alexa San Roman and Dane Petersen, have devoted their entire EP to tracks relating to an individual color on the spectrum and focus on how that shade brings up certain emotions. While this idea is certainly visually prevalent in their videos, the EP itself offers an interesting style to absorb.
The first track to be released, “Do It Over” features a nice mix of fierce vocals from Roman and more soothing tones from Petersen. Both vocal performances blend together quite well and the track carries a very dramatic presence while never feeling too over the top. With “Do It Over” likely being the first exposure to Heirsound that many listeners experienced, it likely gave them a good idea of what to expect from the other work that the band has done though the rest of the Merge actually sounds slightly different compared to that track alone. The next track “Slow Motion” is not anywhere near as abrasive as the prior song, but the EP’s shift in tone from harsh to pristine is very enjoyable. The clean production of “Slow Motion” paired with its respectfully simpler instrumentation makes for a pleasantly emotional song. Both vocalists transition well and work off of each other in order to elevate the track to one of the brightest spots on the entire project.
Things take a bit of a different direction with “Choke” in terms of its change in mood. “Choke” returns to the aggressive nature that was shown early in the EP but with an even angrier vibe. With a chorus that is oddly reminiscent of 30 Seconds to Mars, the track isn’t poorly put together but it would have benefited from some more grit. It would have been nice to hear both vocalists go all out in a more rough track like this but unfortunately it comes across as rather restrained and ultimately slightly bland. The next track “My Own” follows this similar path because while it’s a well produced song, it would greatly benefit from more output with its vocal contrubutions. It’s clear that both singers are talented and have the ability to showcase their range, but this track just seems to be missing these elements. Overall, this track just falls short of really reaching impressive levels due to its tendencies to hold back and end rather abruptly.
A refreshing change of pace is featured on the track “Hoods Up” which has some of the strongest vocal attributes from Roman. The nice range shown by both singers here helps strengthen the darker tones that the song boasts but by this point, it’s hard not to notice that the project has been following a very similar formula. Many of the tracks mirror one another and that unfortunately makes the EP rather predictable from time to time. The themes, vocals, and instrumentals are all presented in a similar fashion for each track which feels stale after multiple listens. A noticeable exception to this problem however, is definitely “Fell Again.” The track might sound similar to previous songs but the execution is better thanks to the very beautiful vocal harmonizing and amount of emotion that both singers are able to exert. The lyrics might not be overly intricate but the commitment that Roman and Petersen put forth without a doubt makes up for it, making “Fell Again” one of the best tracks that Merge has to offer.
Merge has its downsides, mainly the repetitive nature as a whole, but its strengths outweigh those flaws. Thanks to the performances from Roman and Petersen, Heirsound’s debut is able to rise above its occasionally generic style and evolve into a nice emotional piece of pop. There is definitely a high amount of potential for this band and it would be great to see them expand on their strengths and take an even more daring approach for future releases.