Maurice Santiago is nothing if not prolific. You may know him from his work as a former member of Death Bells, or his music under his George Michelle alias; or his collaborations with Steel City Dance Discs in the Sydney underground electronic scene. But there’s one project worthy of all your attention right now: Hearteyes.
On his vulnerable third record Rock Album, Hearteyes marks a turning point for Santiago where his transition from producer to artist is made clear. On tracks like the avant-garde opener ‘baby, i’m an angel’ to track six, ‘ny superstar’ where his rebellion against formulaic progressions is made clear, Rock Album does away with genres and rails against norms – hence the ironic album title.
“Everything I write about is deeply personal; with the past two project I tried to dilute a lot of the storytelling with formulaic pop writing tropes, like repeating phrases and creating hooks, but I still felt so dissatisfied,” said Hearteyes. “Rock Album is where I have finally mustered the courage to put everything out there and felt comfortable doing so.”
Stream Rock Album below and then check out why the staff here at Tone Deaf love it so much.
Check out Hearteyes’ new album ‘Rock Album’:
Having previously served as a member of Death Bells, fans knew what Hearteyes was capable of when he shared his first mixtape last year. Now, with Rock Album serving as his latest record, it’s well within the realm of possibility to believe it might be his most accomplished work yet. Luscious melodies, intricate production, and heartfelt songwriting combine to create this visceral document of music in the year 2020.
– Tyler Jenke
Rock Album breaks all the rules. Hearteyes’ debut record is a tour de force in unceasing, boundary-pushing creativity. The Sydney producer has transcended seamlessly to a bona-fide artist. Extreme, chaotic and heartbreaking in equal measures — it cements Hearteyes as one of the most gripping, uncompromising artists in Australia’s pop music canon.
– Geordie Gray
Hearteyes has found a growing fanbase within the last year, though if Maurice Santiago wasn’t a household name beforehand, Rock Album might help achieve that. A dizzying fusion of genres, the record if often disorientating, but its self-awareness and powerful songwriting show that this is an album that needs to be listened to a few times before you truly understand everything going on.
– Brittany Jenke
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ROCK ALBUM TRACKLIST
1. baby, i’m an angel
2. getting over gut feelings
3. there’s something going on
4. see me again
5. spray painted t-shirt
6. ny superstar
7. berlin wants me dead (interlude)
8. when i grow up
11. breathing one
12. breathing two
13. drunk on the roof
14. darker shades of blue
All proceeds of Bandcamp sales will be donated to FreeHer, a fundraiser for incarcerated Aboriginal women on behalf of Sisters Inside Inc. Listen HERE.