Occasionally a band is able to improve every single aspect of their sound, even the parts that sounded pretty great already, all at the same time and all on the same track. It’s pretty rare, and it isn’t always worth throwing a parade over, but Heir have managed it on their absolutely exceptional new single ‘Restless’.
Listening to ‘Restless’ it’s hard not to imagine a misty morning somewhere nice. The humming synths and impossibly springy beat evoke the sunrise, dewy grass, the gloaming of another day. Yet far from blissful first light, ‘Restless’ (as the name would suggest) describes the fitful and fraught night before. Those nights spent laying awake, chewing over the day behind or the day ahead, a relationship that’s puttering out or a romance that isn’t clicking like it should, dreams unrealised, opportunities slipping away, or sometimes just the lassitude of everyday life.
In this way, ‘Restless’ is a sort of retrospective. A flashback. It describes the long night of the soul that we all occasionally endure, where a problem can be put off no longer, where ‘the talk’ cannot be dodged or an impasse cannot be evaded. It isn’t specific, and it shouldn’t be. There’s a lot to be restless about, and the writing is vague enough to allow some interpretation.
The production positively gleams, misty synth tones floating on by like midsummer brume and warm, subtle guitar touches darting in at the edges. As ever vocalist Tom Hammond is the focal point. His sharp delivery and emotive style are as important as ever. Yet this is the best we’ve heard from him yet. His clipped phrasing is immaculate, and there’s a renewed confidence while operating over a wider range.
It’s fitting that this is Heir’s best song, since ‘Restless’ itself describes the moment when the clouds clear and a new day dawns. When the rising sun seems to suggest you should have another go at it. It’s all tied up in the wonderful coda, where Hammond becomes caught up in the quiet revelation of the song: That things don’t always work out first time, and sometimes don’t even work out at all, but that’s okay. Just keep moving. Don’t slow. It’s good to feel restless.
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