Typically speaking, music gets interesting when the musicians in question start to embrace their inner weirdness and forget about keeping up with what's considered hip at the moment. Enter synth-pop duo Head Over Heart, and their just released single "You and Me."
Jordan Prather and Belinda Peters (nee Esquer) lounge, prance, and generally get their weird on throughout the song, an update of Ashford & Simpson's "Solid as a Rock," with added paranoia. The Neil Schwartz-directed video creates a bizarro-world addendum to the track, a concept piece where Prather and Esquer look like cold hearted new-wavers about to do really bad things to each other but end up having a dance party with all the loose-limbed moves one would expect from cold hearted new-wavers, drives home the groups manifesto: rickety, engaging electronic dance tracks that really don't commit themselves to a definable era, other than that time in the early-'80s when foppish British guys were confusing David Bowie with soul music.
Maybe, then, it's not so coincidental that Head Over Heart really got rolling in the fall of 2013 after Esquer heard recordings of Prather. "The lead vocals from Jordan sound a lot like David Bowie," she says. "We hear that (comparison) a lot. But the first time I heard the demos I said 'holy crap, this guy sounds like David Bowie.' It was really refreshing to hear that; he wasn't trying. It was just natural. He had a great style that I just really liked. He was using electronics and I really like that, too."
Esquer, who had spent time as frontwoman for the local rock band Yardsale Heart, did some traveling in Los Angeles, but wasn't thrilled with what she found. "I spent some time in Los Angeles and it didn't feel right. I had some bad experiences and decided this is where I wanted to be. I got back and called Jordan and said 'let's do this, full force.'"
After a preliminary line-up with two additional members, Prather and Esquer decided to go it alone and write some songs. Prather says, "In the end, it didn't seem like the others really wanted to be in it so we just went ahead with it. It ended up being the same thing that we wanted to do anyway." Esquer maintains that she and Prather felt most committed to what was becoming Head Over Heart. "We're very diligent about working hard and making the music better—practicing every day, writing every day, recording every day."
"We're very good about getting stuff done and not just talking about (assumes clichéd wasted rocker voice) 'dude, let's play some guitar, and (unintelligible) maaaaan!'," Prather explains.
They recorded what would become their debut EP (tentatively scheduled for a summer release) from the beginning, enlisting additional help from Ryan Alfred (of Sweet Ghosts) with some production and instrumental overdubs. But Esquer and Prather prefer to write while recording, one part at a time. He says, "That's kind of how I like to write. ... I have to hear what it's gonna sound like to know where it's gonna go next. I don't know, I'm not one of those people who just writes an entire song at once. It usually takes a completely different direction of what I thought it would be."
Over the past several months Head Over Heart has turned into as much brand as band, with all kind of merchandise for sale, including leggings amongst the more normal faire such as shirts. Esquer says they're already at work on the next record, while the award-winning Alex Italics will be directing their next video, before the EP's release. That is, if they don't kill each other or some kind of error in the system occurs before Major Tom can come home. But Head Over Heart are smarter than that.