This is our favourite part of the Kickstart process, unveiling the finished product. We are over the moon to be sharing the single and music video recorded as part of the Kickstart programme by Heart Shaped.
Recorded and produced with Declan Legge in Analogue Catalogue Recording Studio, ‘Felt‘ finds Heart Shaped in imperious form. The track features fuzzy guitars and shimmering synths over a disco-inflected backbeat which underpin a meditation on the self-deception at the heart of a tumultuous relationship.
Thoughts From Kendall
A year on from a whirlwind year winning the 2022 Kickstart competition, I am so happy to be putting ‘Felt’ out into the world. Recording in Analogue Catalogue studios was a real bucket list moment for me. I don’t think you could dream up a more idyllic location to record, and it really lived up to every wonderful thing I had heard about it – a studio in the middle of the beautiful country side kitted out to the nines but still super welcoming and friendly, and with two very friendly donkeys roaming around in the yard! So many amazing artists have recorded there over the years (including one of my favourite albums of 2022 – Junior Brother’s The Great Irish Famine) and so I was fairly in awe of the company we were in.
Working with Declan Legge, who produced and recorded the track, was great. I always find it kind of vulnerable bringing an idea to someone you haven’t worked with before but Declan understood the vision of I was going for and I think he did an amazing job in transforming the idea I walked in with into to a living, breathing pop song. I feel like, ideally, a producer’s job is to help you to sound even more like yourself. Declan totally succeeded!
I am really grateful for the band because I think they do that too, they are able to take ideas I bring to them in a demo and really make them their own and make them interesting and in the process help in making the song more like what I wanted it to sound like that when it was just me working on it. Rónán McQuillan is an amazing guitarist, and it was great to have longtime Heart Shaped collaborator Shannon O’Neill playing bass on the track. John Ahern came up with the synths and had the idea to incorporate disco drums into the track so I credit his ingenuity if the song is a certified pop banger. Our drummer Amy Nolan was unfortunately out of commission with a health issue at the time of recording but she is frankly the Heart Shaped band MVP and deserves a huge shout out here as well. I really value the collaboration element of Heart Shaped and it’s why I’ve always seen it as a personal project rather than a solo project.
Speaking of collaborators, working with the ‘Felt’ music video director Jamie Neish was a really fantastic experience and he helped bring to life a music video concept that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I sent over a load of references (mostly Sade music videos and the scene featuring Houston punk legends the Mydolls in the film Paris, Texas) and he totally ran with it and brought it to life. It’s amazing to see something you’ve had knocking around in your head turn into something on a storyboard turn into a music video! I wanted all of the elements of the release to have a really strong visual component, so that is why I was delighted have Aaron Cunningham take photos that will feature on the physical split 7″ with K. Campbell on Poison Moon Records. I think I probably sent him lots of Sade references too…
I wrote ‘Felt’ a couple of years ago and it’s been fun to see how it has evolved as a song in that time. I chose it as the single to release coming out of Kickstart because I wanted a song that felt big and more danceable but still has a bit of an uncanny side to it. I’d say it has a lot of the signature elements of a Heart Shaped song – what can I say? I love melodrama! I love intrigue! All of my favourite songwriters do.
Kickstart wouldn’t have happened without the generous support and contributions from a number of organisations and individuals. We are indebted to you for your help in making Kickstart and this single a reality. Thank you!
- Lee & Emma at Forestside Shopping Centre
- Davy at Third Bar Artist Development
- Declan at Big Space Studios
- Jamie at Broken Film NI
- Aaron at Avcunningham Photography
- John at Stendhal Festival
- Thrill Merchants PR
Single Launch Gig
To celebrate the launch of new single ‘Felt’ and the conclusion of our 2022 Kickstart programme, we are hosting Heart Shaped in the Ulster Sports Club. The gig takes place on Saturday 15 April 2023 and features hotly tipped Dublin band banríon and Belfast’s own Niall McDowell. Early access tickets are only £8 and are available at WeGotTickets. If you decide to rock up on the door without a ticket, it’ll set you back £10…Hope to see you there!