Oxford, UK, based artist Pearl Diver have just released their latest single, Heaven Help Me. We’ve been having a good long listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today. Heaven Help Me is the third release from the band’s debut album, due out later this year. Pearl Diver are singer and guitarist, Matt Sage, bassist, Josh Rigal, and drummer, Joel Bassuk. What started out as a solo project, Sage recruited Rigal and Bassuk and came up with a whole new name and a whole new sound for them
Heaven Help Me starts with panned electric guitar, perhaps with some sort of phaser on it, before the full band sound joins in with a great stereo spread of instruments.
Always particularly interested in unique sounding, genre crossing tracks, Pearl Diver tick all the boxes for us in that respect. This is unpredictable, creative and very individual. This is a sound that is all their own and if this is the taste of things to come then we’re very much looking forward to hearing more.
Somehow, Heaven Help Me manages to draw influences right through from the 60s to the 80s. A very indie rock feel with a classy performance on all instruments.
Particular kudos to the drummer here. Pearl Diver have kept him pretty busy on this track with some awesome toms fills and excellent ride cymbal work. The drums are busy throughout and are a real highlight of the song. They are nicely stereo and fit well in the mix.
The stop into the second verse is a nice touch. It just breaks things up a little and keeps the listener on their toes (as if they weren’t already!). This track really does change things up and make you think.
There’s something about the background vocals (the “oohs” and “aahs”!) that made us smile and even more so, that wail bending note on the background vocals at the end of the chorus felt positively like something that should be in a James Bond theme song, or perhaps the Avengers!!
The guitar solo in the instrumental is well executed, with a pleasant tone and a good choice of notes, leading back in to the vocals which we tried and tried to think of someone to compare them to but ended up realising that describing them as unique and characterful was just as useful, and perhaps more of a compliment.
With a stinger ending, we felt even more drawn to our earlier suggestion of this being a track suitable for an adventure movie soundtrack, and the unique twists and turns of the song sit well with the twists and turns of an adventure movie plot.
From a production perspective, we’d suggest a small cut around 400-500Hz, especially in the vocals where it is just a touch boxy. A tiny boost around 2000-2500Hz will give a little more edge to the track and perhaps a tiny boost of the top octave will help bring out the shimmer in that awesome ride work.
Pearl Diver’s, Heaven Help Me is a stunning piece of genre-defying awesomeness which will have us smiling for the rest of the day. A really positive feeling, radio friendly length track which we’d suggest the band send straight off to BBC Radio Oxford at the very least.