Scenario: You’ve just bought the new album by The Band of Heathens. “I wonder what this sounds like,” you wonder aloud, instead of just putting the album on and listening to it.
Hint: The title isn’t false advertising.
“Sunday Morning Record” is the latest studio release from the Austin, Texas-based Heathens. It’s a subdued but not sleepy piece of Americana and the prevailing mood fits the title. Put another way, “Record” is not a Venom record.
According to the Heathens’ Ed Jurdi, the title immediately makes sense to the sort of people who listen to albums on Sunday mornings. He also said the songs on “Record” have “kind of a nice little narrative, sonically.”
Goshen listeners can hear part of that narrative live Tuesday night, when The Band of Heathens plays Ignition Music Garage downtown.
A “Record” listener can hear hints of non-Heathens on the album — Nilsson, the Stones in country-ramble mode, The Dead, ’70s singer-songwriter sounds. That said, the influences are pretty deftly incorporated into the band identity.
“I think that’s the idea,” Jurdi said in a phone interview with The Goshen News this week. “...The way you learn how to do what you do is by studying.” And in the case of most musicians, that means listening to other artists.
“I did that by putting on records that I liked and listening to them and learning how to play those songs,” Jurdi said. “Then taking those tools and figuring out how to use them with my own voice in mind.”
Discussing the Heathens’ creative process, Jurdi said, “You’re inspired by something, and you grab that idea out of the air and you start running with it. ...You’re using these little touchstone points more as inspiration than as a template.”