One of the absolute best feelings in the world is when you find that bright red ruby in that sea of otherwise generic songs. The minute the guitar strums a certain note, or the harmonies come together to form some sort of chord birthed from the god Apollo, that certain feeling arrives and for a few minutes I find myself submerged in a glittering pool of musical euphoria. As a DJ, these times aren’t necessarily rare, but the magnitude changes each time. One of the artists that provides me with a massive 1,000 magnitude earthquake of sound euphoria each time I hear a song is an indie rock band called Her’s.
The first time I heard this beautiful duo's musical wizardry was when a song called “Marcel” popped up on my Discover Weekly (shoutout to Spotify.) A gloriously crafted slip-and-slide surf pop tune, I was hooked the minute my ears drank in the sound of Stephen Fitzpatrick’s god-like deep voice and Audun Laading’s catchy bass riffs. Like most of their songs, “Marcel” feels sweet like milk chocolate, sensual and absolutely effortless.
Starving for more after that initial hit of musical crack, I listened to their only two albums through until I was sure I knew every word. Full of a relentless love and heart rarely replicated today, I don’t think I have the writing prowess to accurately describe such an incredible duo. Her’s is colorful and fun, but there’s deeper meaning there, too. With lyrics detailing real love, deep conversations about loneliness, and even a touching tribute to the singer’s cat, Her’s lyrics are funny, dreamy and real. I’ve never been more in love with a group.
A few weeks after listening for the first time and continually playing their songs on repeat (a number of times that would be considered obsessive), I suddenly fell victim to a feeling that people sometimes do; I played those damn sweet songs ‘til death. The dreaded overplayedness. Songs that once sent shivers up your spine now an homage to what once was. Those feelings you had when you put in those earbuds and let the sounds melt across your skin. The tingling sensation, the hypnotic pulse of the beats echoing across the nerves in your body. Slowly it fades away, and you’re met with just words and sounds that don’t stick to you like they used to. And I think that might be the saddest thing in the world.
I wondered for a while after that when I would be plunged into another few weeks of euphoric bliss, so I did a quick Google search to check up on the progress of Her’s next album. It was then that I learned the tragic news. The band of Her’s, two friends, Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, both hailing from Liverpool, had passed away along with their manager Trevor Engelbrektson in 2019.
What a horrible, terrible, gut-wrenching thing to lose such young souls, all of whom seemed happy, talented and charismatic as hell. They created music that was judgement-free and could make it feel like summer in the middle of a long, dreary, cold winter day at my desk.
Music cannot replace people, and Her’s will never be the same without the two men behind the magic. But in creating this beautiful collection of legendary sounds, these guys have left behind a legacy. They’ve created a big old pair of platform heeled shoes in the indie music market, a pair of shoes that can be replicated, but will never again be filled. Anytime I’ve listened to Her's music from that point on, it's in a way that's more reflective than before. I think about how music imitates life in such a vivid way, and just how much life these men put into their music-making and have given back to their audience.
Written by the group themselves, Her's Spotify bio says, “The pair bonded over a love of peculiar, sardonic humour and wide-eyed observations. Their dream-pop was a natural extension of their solitary decoding of the cultures they grew up in.” That’s exactly how Her’s feels. Natural and observant. Funny and quirky. That first, funny little smirk to your crush. Deeply human, unafraid, and imaginative.
Her’s is a reminder that music is immortal. Music influences, inspires, and small artists are so essential in helping music live on and continue evolving in every way it can. After a friend showed me a few hidden gems from Her’s SoundCloud the other day, my love for Her’s was revived, and the familiar colors of their sound showed themselves once more. So, I decided to write this short little tribute to Her's just to continue to appreciate them for who they were. Her’s lives on forever in every direction.
If you’re feeling up to it, step into a world of indie pop come alive, and let me invite you to listen to Her’s.