Reverend And The Makers – Heatwave In The Cold North

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Reverend and The Makers have created something special for their highly-anticipated new album ‘Heatwave In The Cold North’ – the band’s seventh, and their first in five years. Concise, optimistic and uplifting, it includes lead singles ‘Problems’, ‘High’, ‘Heatwave in the Cold North’, and the emotive ‘A Letter To My 21 Year Old Self’ which has formed part of a wider project headed up by frontman Jon McClure.

The initiative saw fans and musicians sending in letters addressing it to their 21 year-old selves, which included famous faces like Brian Eno, Mel C, Carl Barat and more. The track ‘A Letter To My 21 Year Old Self’ is highly personal and emotive and sees Jon McClure reflecting on his last two decades in the music industry.

From giving reflective life lessons to his 21 year-old self like “To tell ya not let such fears / Dominate any o’ ya bestest years” to the more candid advice “Take care that your friends and peers / Don’t get near with the bags of gear…”, ‘A Letter To My 21 Year Old Self’ is poignant, introspective and highly personal. Lines like ‘Maybe be kinder to yourself and know your worth’ will resonate with everyone – I know it does for me. 

The eponymous opening track showcases the sonic shift for the band. It’s an effervescent, sun-drenched, motown-inspired song that is guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor. Reminiscent of the late great Barry White, this makes you feel like you are on the most chilled road trip on the most beautiful sunny day. It also encapsulates pop, Northern Soul with a hint of their indie roots. 

With sing-along rousing lyrics, dazzling percussion and sun-drenched guitars, this is anthemic and optimistic and McClure’s tone is warm and gorgeous. It feels nostalgic, but still at the same time fresh and contemporary.

This surprising sonic palette is a change in direction for the band, but the fusion of pop, R&B, and soul is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The soulful yet psychedelic ‘High’ is a hazy Curtis Mayfield sounding track that references perhaps their most famous song with the line ‘Never been champion of the world’ has an irresistible refrain and some elegant backing vocals from Laura McClure who also excels on keys throughout the album.

Endearing, vivid and ambitious, ‘Heatwave in The Cold North’ is the band’s strongest and most soulful body of work to date.


Words: Emma Harrison

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