This is one of those bands that
make boys and girls fall in love.
The Naked Hearts are a not-entirely-
bass-less rock duo (live, the
bass exists as if by magic even if
nobody is playing it, as we have
personally witnessed!) which offers
some extremely well crafted,
melancholic, guitar indie-pop.
Amy Cooper (guitar and vocals)
and Noah Wheeler (drums and
vocals) are obvious musical soul
mates. Their debut full length
“Mass Hysteria” exists in a musical
limbo floating between Belly’s
hyper-melancholic psych-rock, the
more straightforward and up-beat
guitar pop of Juliana Hatfield and
PJ Harvey circa 1992, and the
obvious Nirvana influences.
Your genre is hard to pin down: indie rock, pop, touch of punk... How do you describe your sound?
N: We’ve been described as moody rock or dark pop, though I always think it’s hard to sum up a band’s sound with a couple of words. Boy/girl vocals are definitely an integral part of our sound.
-Your lyrics are melancholic and your sound creates a constant dark edgy atmosphere, what is your inspiration behind your compositions?
A: Romanticism. Painting a picture with sound and words.
-Which artists have influenced you most?
N: Our main musical influences are definitely rooted in a lot of the 90s bands we grew up listening to like The Breeders, Nirvana, The Lemonheads, and Sonic Youth. We’re also really inspired by our friends here in the city She Keeps Bees, SuSu, Air Waves, Home Video to name a few.
-What is the background of Naked Hearts? How and when did you form?
N: We met at Pianos in 2007, where we were both playing the same night in different bands. We immediately sensed a strong artistic connection, and soon after I began touring with Amy’s band playing drums and singing back-ups. We were touring the states promoting her 2nd solo release Mirrors when we started writing songs together. When we returned to NYC, we decided to focus completely on Naked Hearts.
-What’s the story behind your band’s name?
N: Naked Hearts is the name of the first song we wrote. The name and the song seemed to sum up the direction we were heading together, so it naturally stuck with us.
-Tell us about recording “Mass Hysteria.
N: We recorded it over the summer 2009 at Vacation Island Recordings with Matt Boynton (Gang Gang Dance, Acrylics, Bat for Lashes). We had such a common vision with Matt while making the record, and I think that really comes through on the album.
-What is so special about the NYC music scene?
N: We love Cake Shop, Glasslands, Union Pool, Zebulon and so many more. The city is filled with great places to perform, not to mention all the people that run these places are all super cool. Bands here are pushing boundaries and making something new happen, we’re really feeling that, especially now.
-“Call Me” is one of my favorite songs in the CD, what’s the story behind it?
A: The inspiration for the song came in a moment and I embellished on that moment as much as I could. A lot of life can exist in one shade of light, a feeling, a memory, a sense of being. It’s a song about being there and compassion.