Killing Heidi - 2000 Reflector

ARTIST: Killing Heidi
ALBUM: Reflector
LABEL: Wah Wah Music
SERIAL: 102340-2
YEAR: 2000

LINEUP: Ella Hooper - vocals * Jesse Hooper - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mascara * 02 Weir * 03 Superman/Supergirl * 04 Astral Boy * 05 Leave Me Alone * 06 You Don't Know * 07 A Jar Labelled Small * 08 Class Celebrities * 09 Live Without It * 10 Real People * 11 Jon's Song * 12 Black Sheep


Aussie newcomers Killing Heidi are clearly a band of extraordinary extremes not to mention talent. Teen singer Ella Hooper's sublime vocals combine spectacularly with slightly elder brother Jesse's thumping rhythms and subtle acoustics to spawn songs that are as comfortable on mainstream radio as on Aussie alt-pop station Triple J.

And from humble beginnings in their native Victoria, Killing Heidi have quickly taken those Aussie charts by storm (winning four prestigious ARIAs in the process) with their brand of fiery rock and sweet melody, to be found more often than not in the confines of the same 3 minute song.

To say the Heidi's innovative compositions are as refreshing as a crate of chilled lager after a week in the Outback is as much of an understatement as saying Ayers Rock is a bit on the large side.

The Songs

'Mascara' is the one that has started the ball rolling, and a real melodic roller-coaster ride it is too, as pretty, yet anthemic verses give way to powerful choruses with riffs Angus Young would be proud of.

Ella Hooper is clearly a star in the making not only for her incredible vocals, but also for her knack for lyrics, as the clever lecturing tone of the opener makes clear, and the mature viewpoint of second smash hit 'Weir' confirms further.

However, as well as the two tunes that have already made Radio stations in Oz take notice, there are at least four others that could have similar chart impact.

'Superman/Supergirl' rocks with some force and is made more interesting with the different time signatures of verse and chorus whilst 'Live Without It' oozes melody and panache.

'Class Celebrities' is irresistibly catchy and evidence of a band in complete harmony, whilst the delicate orchestration and acoustic guitar of 'Astral Boy' is quite simply beautiful and really highlights Ella's stunning voice. Further gems are to be found in 'Jon's Song' and the childlike sugar pop of closer 'Black Sheep'.

In Summary

Although Killing Heidi is guided by the steady hand of producer Paul Kosky, the fact that all the songs on 'Reflector' are from the pen of the Hooper siblings is evidence that such a courageous approach to their music is all their own work.

Killing Heidi may be too alternative for pure pop and too pop to be totally alternative, but this contradiction is precisely the reason they are popular in Australia, and the reason why I anticipate 'Reflector' will repeat its Antipodean success in the US.

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