English seaside Spector-flavoured rock
Ones To Watch: The Heartbreaks

“Teenage heartbreak is like the end of the world - I love the melodrama,” chuckles drummer and principal songwriter Joseph Kondras of the Lancastrian quartet, The Heartbreaks.

Originally from the seaside town of Morecambe (“the place completely informs what we are - small town lives,” says Joseph), the boys bonded over a love of their parents’ Northern Soul collections, Orange Juice and gritty Northern literature. New single, the swoonsome ‘I Didn’t Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You’ fuses Mary Chain power, the poetic sensibilities of The Smiths (check that title) and the romance of Spector pop. “One of our biggest influences is ’60s girl groups like The Ronettes,” explains Joseph. “I love how tragic the songs are but how poptastic they are; choruses that are heartbreaking but soaring, melancholic but uplifting.”

Although now based in Manchester, Morecambe has defined the band. “It’s not a cultural hub like London, so you have to find romance in what is around you,” says singer Matthew Whitehouse. Joseph agrees, “If you want to create in an environment like that, it is hard. But it’s made us hungrier.”

There is an Anglophile angle to The Heartbreaks; Matthew is happy to follow a fabled blueprint. “When The Smiths came out music was very similar to now. It was very international and there was something very organically English which set them apart. It’s something we’re doing, which is as perverse to do now as it was then. I see no problem in having a similar agenda to The Smiths.” Neither do we.

Words by John Freeman

Where: Morecambe, Lancashire
What: English seaside Spector-flavoured rock.
Unique Fact: Matthew used to be an ice-cream vendor.
Get 3 songs: ‘Jealous, Don’t You Know’, ‘Liar, My Dear’, ‘I Didn’t Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You’



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