The Heavy Hours Talk Debut Single “Don’t Walk Away”

Kat Harlton

Cincinnati quartet The Heavy Hours, recently released their debut single “Don’t Walk Away” via S-Curve/BMG. Co-written with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and produced by Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Jade Bird, Matt Maeson), “Don’t Walk Away” provides an ideal glimpse into the band’s particular magic.

Adopting the band’s name from a line in William Butler Yeats’ Autobiographies, The Heavy Hours emerged in 2018, eager to explore a long-standing fascination with time-honoured songwriting and production. Their music soon made its way to Dan Auerbach, who invited his fellow Ohioans to visit his Easy Eye Sound headquarters in Nashville for a few days of collaborative songwriting.

We had the opportunity to chat with The Heavy Hours about their debut single, the collaboration process, and what’s next.

Kat: For those who haven’t heard your music yet, how would you describe your sound?

The Heavy Hours: We’ve been described as alternative rock and radio-friendly rock ‘n’ roll. We also sound a little bit like gas station BBQ.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your debut single “Don’t Walk Away”?

The Heavy Hours: Visual artist Chuck Close has a great quote about this, “Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” That’s really what it was like in the studio with Dan (Auerbach). We pulled out old ideas from our cell phones and hummed melodies until we found some hooks with sticking power. Adding the lyrics came in the form of a roundtable brainstorm all very quickly and naturally.

Kat: The single was co-written with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and produced by Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Jade Bird, Matt Maeson), can you talk about what that process was like? and what you learned along the way?

The Heavy Hours: Taking a song that was written in the hot summer heat of Nashville with Dan, then recording it up in the Catskills with six feet of snow on the ground later on in the year was wild. Working with our producers Simone Felice and David Baron was a very fun process; we brought in sax players, cellists, and strings players. The whole of the recording process was done in Simone and David’s basement studio, it was a very low pressure environment.

Kat: Can you talk a little bit about your musical inspirations and role models?

The Heavy Hours: If we all go around the room, you’ll hear everyone pipe up with their own personal influences and heroes which is why we believe our chemistry as a band works so well. Delta Spirit, J Roddy Walston & The Business, CCR, Oasis, Jim Croce, My Morning Jacket, the list goes on.

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Kat: How are you staying connected to your fans and the industry during Covid-19? What’s next?

The Heavy Hours: We’re currently trying to figure that out / are always rolling with the punches. We just got done with our first leg of a COVID-safe RV tour around the country, playing for radio stations and quarantined promoters in their front yards.

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