The Hepburns’ new album finds them at their cattiest, as they skewer couch surfers, hack writers, sexual taxonomists and more…it’s all barb, all bitch, all the time.
In How the Fallen Are Mighty, The Hepburns have produced an extraordinary album – cutting observational lyrics set amidst imaginative, varied and at times just plain eccentric musical arrangements. All in all fine contemporary song writing with an edge.
Originally released in June on US indie label Radio Khartoum, it’s now available in the UK through Folkwit Records.
How the Fallen are Mighty (CD) – The Hepburns – £8.99 + P&P
How the Fallen are Mighty (Vinyl LP) – The Hepburns – £10.99 + P&P
- Vanishing Act
- Sad, Free, Excited and Empty
- Nobody Loves Me
- One More Notch on the Bedpost
- Writer Friend
- The Help
- Save Your Stories for the Police, Maurice
- Persona Non Grata (in Margam Place)
- Ken Park: The Man, the Film
- Growing Old
- Man Missing
“How the Fallen Are Mighty is the work of a poet. A mosaic of witty, fantastical, individualistic songs that sound well alone and collectively form a breathtaking panorama of lyrical imagery and eclectic sound. I don’t know where this work stands in today’s polluted pop waters, but I fancy that back in the more bracing airs of 1981 it would have been celebrated as the major achievement it surely is.”
– Mike Alway, él Records
“The Hepburns continue in their easygoing happy/sad indie-in-an-’80s way with How the Fallen Are Mighty — any album that starts off with a breezy half-minute instrumental that sounds like it should be the opening credits music for a breezy BBC travelogue from 1973 has to have something going for it. If the band’s portrayals of understated love affairs and entanglements often feel either more pleasant and wryly engaging than whip-smart or suddenly universal, it’s all done with an attitude and focus that are never less than enjoyable. Matt Jones’ singing matches the performances very well, at once understated and yet having a bit of gentle yearning. The occasional harmonies — sometimes turning into a massed chorale approach, as on “Delores” — sweeten the impact. Having a song called “Nobody Loves Me” that is a third-person portrait rather than a first-person one is actually an inspired touch, especially after Morrissey seemed to corner the latter market. The arrangements benefit from extra keyboards and other instruments adding a gentle grandeur to songs like “One More Notch on the Bedpost”; the sax break on “The Help” not only helps the understated ska rhythm but adds its own fun energy. “Persona Non Grata,” meanwhile, sounds like a great lost Sparks song from 1975 — for that reason alone, How the Fallen Are Mighty deserves a little attention.”
—Ned Raggett, Allmusic.com
“…a catalogue of fine songwriting that the more fresh-faced hordes of indiepopsters would give their right arms for….”
– Sounds XP
“…this band can tell a fabulous musical story both delightful and innovative, totally classic pop…”
– Leicester Bangs
About The Hepburns:
A capricious guitar pop act from Wales that appeared briefly with Cherry Red at the tail end of the 80s to the bafflement of the UK press of the day (who weren’t ready for a band that claimed Bacharach, Barry and Morricone as influences). The Magic of the Hepburns was not lost overseas, however, where the band left a lasting impression on younger fans from Grimsby Fishmarket in Sweden to the Siesta crew in Spain, as well as on the future boss of Radio Khartoum. But there was a hitch (not to mention a lost album), and no one—including John Peel (who reportedly wondered aloud on air)—knew what had become of the band in the decade that followed. By some miracle, a neighbor of band leader Matt Jones was referred to Radio Khartoum in 1999 and a pact was quickly struck. Jones and co. quickly found their stride, producing a series of albums each better than the last, and much faster than the slow RK machinery can release them. Look for the albums Where the Missing Words Live and Insomniac’s Lullaby in this space in the future.
Folkwit Records are proud to be working with Radio Khartoum to distribute How the Fallen are Mighty in the UK.
For fans of: él Records, The Lucksmiths, The Monochrome Set, The Smiths, The Specials, Momus, John Barry, and Jake Thackray.