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"My life: a slow clap progression, pace rising; to celebrate in the smallest finding - feels right to show admiration that grows," Mark Grundy begins on “Slow Clap”, the first track from Heaven For Real’s sophomore full-length Energy Bar. Formed in 2012, and consisting of songwriter twins Mark and J. Scott Grundy (Quaker Parents) and their frequent collaborators, drummer Nathan Doucet and synth player/percussionist Cher Hann, the Toronto by way of Halifax project has been taking time to shape the follow-up to their 2016 Mint debut, Kill Your Memory. Springboarding from their early 2022 EP, Sweet Rose Green Winter Desk Top Tell This Side Autumn Of The Fighter Hot In A Cool Way, they describe the project as a “living collaboration”, one that strives to compress life’s truths into a distorted reflection of all of its facets. It’s this that drives Energy Bar – a hyper, trash-compacted mosaic of the band ten years that’s simultaneously dreamlike and alive.
Recording the album with Jonas Bonnetta at Port William Sound, H4R aimed to cultivate an electrically charged live energy, which they fuse with rich and playful compositions. Tracks like “Lately” and “Energy Bar” are defined by tireless, wired drums, around which are woven buoyant guitar lines, sounding at times like the weirder shades of bands like Meat Puppets, Prefab Sprout and even early Cate Le Bon. Included too are hints of The Feelies, Mdou Moctar, Built To Spill and Cast; Heaven For Real’s approach is an experimental one, yet one unafraid to embrace genre as a tool for expression.