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Barely out of school, Dublin sister duo Heathers are already turning heads with their melodic punk-pop. They talk about what it's like being one of the country's buzzing newcomers.
Colm O Hare, 28 Nov 2008
With a widely acclaimed debut album, Here Not There and a 30-date US tour behind them, 18-year-old twins Louise and Ellie Macnamara – aka Heathers – don’t believe in hanging around waiting for things to happen. From Blackrock in south Dublin, the pair completed the Leaving Cert earlier this year and have both recently started college. Despite this hectic schedule they’re still managing to find time to lay the groundwork of a music career.
Ellie explains: “We’re taking a little bit of time off to settle into college at moment but we’re playing some gigs at Christmas and we’ve just come back from the CMJ festival in New York which we did with the Blizzards and a few other Irish bands.”
With a moniker inspired by the 1989 Winona Ryder black comedy of the same name, the sisters have been making music together for less than two years. “We grew up listening to everything from Simon and Garfunkel to Bruce Springsteen but we only started around April 2007," says Ellie. "We’ve always been playing instruments and singing in choirs but we never did anything together as a group. Getting together just happened out of the blue – I think it was one day when Louise wrote a song and asked me to put some harmonies to it. It worked out better than we expected and we started writing some more songs and playing gigs around the place.”
Their sound which is just two voices and one guitar is an exuberant, energetic blend of acoustic indie folk with lyrics that connect with their own generation – a sort of Avril Lavigne unplugged meets the Indigo Girls. “People compare us a lot to Tegan and Sara, which is okay because we like their music, but to be honest the comparison is probably more because we’re twins.
“We’ve had some people mentioning the Indigo Girls to us as well, though we weren’t familiar with them. If someone asks us what would we compare ourselves to, we find it really hard to explain. People think our music is different, whatever that means.