Irish duo, Heathers, who consists of sisters Ellie and Louise Macnamara, recently released the single “Midnight Train”. We were lucky enough to grab an interview with these two, who exclusively talked to us about their music.
Their debut single, titled “Remember When”, charted in their home country at number 11. Their debut album, “Here, Not There” also did well on the charts, managing to reach number 34. But, it was their second studio album “Kingdom”, released in 2012, that managed to chart at number eight.
They continue to make waves with their music. This new release, “Midnight Train”, follows up their recent singles “Call Home” and “November”. They’ve toured in various countries after their lead single from their second album, “Forget Me Knots”, became a global cult favourite.
Luckily for us, these two sisters found the time to talk exclusively to us and answer our questions about their new music. Check out our interview below.
Hey, Ellie & Louise, thank you so much for taking some time to answer our questions. What have you been up to lately?
L: We’ve just released a new single ‘Midnight Train’, which we’re very excited about. We’ve been busy promoting that over the past few weeks. We’re also working on new heathers material, which we’re planning to record over the coming months.
How would you describe your music?
L: Hmmmm…that’s a tricky one. I would say alternative pop. Energy, harmonies, twins.
You recently released “Midnight Train” can you tell us more about the song?
L: “Midnight Train” came about when Ellie and I were in Co. Clare, in the West of Ireland for a week, working on new music. We were sitting around one evening, reminiscing about when we were teenagers, going to DIY punk gigs in an abandoned community hall in Greystones, Co. Wicklow (close to Dublin). All of our friends were in bands, putting out their own records and putting on shows and really inspired and gave us the confidence to start a band ourselves. In a time that was filled with so much anxiety and self-consciousness, these gigs were a little haven for us. We used to head out to Greystones, spend the day there and get the last train (Midnight Train) home.
Do you have any specific favourite lyrics from the song?
L: ’Standing on the outside looking in
Living for the day that we’d fit in
I don’t even know oh why oh why
The walls of this room keep me alive’
These lyrics harp back to what I said above. These gigs, this music community was an outlet and a kind of haven for us when we were awkward, self-conscious teenagers. The feeling of being with like-minded people, packed into a small, sweaty room, roaring out the lyrics to one of your favourite bands. It was amazing!
E: My favourite lyric from “Midnight Train” is ‘Sitting on a concrete cloud of sound, familiar face of the lost and found’. It describes the feeling of finding people that you click with and becoming aware that what we had was something pretty special. Stumbling across a gem that would have a massive impact on our lives and would somewhat shape who we are as people.
Are there any plans for a music video? If so, can you reveal any details?
L: We decided to do a lyric video for midnight train. It was important to us that people really hear the lyrics. You can check out the video here, made by our friend Morgan.
Liam Howe produced the track, what was it like working with him?
L: It was amazing! We’re big fans of Liam’s work. He’s worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey and Marina and The Diamonds, two heroes of ours. So, we were over the moon when we heard he liked the track and wanted to work with us.
It was really interesting to watch his process. He’s such a professional and is just really really good at what he does. He also has a beautiful synth collection, which was fantastic when it came to recording “Midnight Train”. We were watching a lot of Stranger Things at the time and were hugely inspired by some of the sounds and music in that. So, no doubt, many of those original synth sounds weaved their way into the arrangement.
E: Liam was incredible to work with. It can be difficult to verbalise exactly what we’re looking for when arranging and producing a song but Liam managed to help us create exactly what we had in mind for “Midnight Train” in such a short amount of time.
What has the reaction to this song been like?
L: There’s been a great reaction, so far, which were delighted about.
Are these singles leading up to an album release? Or are you just focusing on singles for now?
L: Advances in technology are allowing musicians to produce and release music much more easily and quickly and I think audiences expectations have changed to reflect that. As a result of this, we decided to focus on releasing singles for a while. It suited us in a way, as it gave us the freedom to write what we want, when we want and release it.
We do love creating albums though and are starting to work towards a bigger body of work over the coming months.
What has it been like touring in various countries?
L: It’s been amazing. We both love travelling and experiencing new cultures, particularly the food. Every time we visit a new country or city, we can’t leave without trying something that’s unique to that place. Poutine in Montreal has been one of the highlights – chips, gravy, cheese curds – where could you go wrong?! Delish!
We feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and tour so much. There’s nothing better than actually getting to go and see and play to the people who have listened to and supported us along the way.
E: We have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and tour extensively over our time in Heathers. It is always hugely inspiring to meet Heathers fans in faraway lands and it’s also pretty amazing to get to travel around the world with your sister.
Has there been a favourite city that you performed at?
L: Hmmm…maybe Toronto, Canada. Lovely people, lovely city!
E: We have played in so many amazing cities over the years. Hamburg holds a special place for me and I may be a little biased when I say Dublin. There’s nothing like playing on home turf.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
L: Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen.
E: Musically, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce. Personally, my family. They have been a constant source of support and inspiration over the years. Our brother introduced us to so many incredible bands/musicians as teenagers, many of whom have inspired and influenced our music in different ways.
Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
L: Thank you for listening to our music, coming out to our shows and always supporting us in what we do. You are what inspires us to keep doing what we do. <3
E: Thank you SO much for your love and support.
What’s next for Heathers?
L: World Domination!! Ha!…We’ll spend the next few weeks promoting “Midnight Train”, then it’s heads down to continue working on new tunes. New releases and shows in the new year!
Thank you, Ellie and Louise, for the interview. We’re excited for what the future brings for you two. We’re loving “Midnight Train” at the moment.
We highly suggest that you support Heathers on their musical journey by downloading and streaming their music.