Close your eyes and hear any of its songs, and this record will transport its listener’s imagination to scenes of classic Hollywood. Riding a creative wave driven by an affection for the glam and charm of this style, Thornhill’s Jacob Charlton (vocals/lyrics) and Ethan McCann (guitar/production) birthed Heroine – a vivid anthology of stories set to a dynamic, cinema-inspired score.
Thornhill’s highly anticipated second album ‘Heroine’ is due for its full release on the 3rd of June 2022 via UNFD.
Should it really be controversial for a band to make the music that they want? Of course, the answer is no. Support an artist’s choice to be who they want to be, even if it’s not to your taste.
Why begin this review with this statement? Because Thornhill have seen a certain level of pushback because of the musical direction they have taken on this new album. The singles released so far have resulting in some polarising thoughts. It seems as though fans have either loved the new direction or absolutely hated it, no in-between. While many have spoken of their excitement to hear the full album, others have already dismissed it. Unfairly?
Well, we have now heard the full thing and will admit, it takes some getting used too.
The glitz, the glamour, the captivating charm of Hollywood… it’s what drives the sound of this album. Where Thornhill go for a more cinematic flavour; high on the dramatics and infused with electro-rock. It’s not a complete about-turn musically but it is a lurch in a different direction.
Their alternative rock sound hits like waves. Sometimes they softly crash over you (The Hellfire Club, Blue Velvet, Valentine), other times they come with force leaving you spluttering and gasping for air (Leather Wings, Casanova, Raw).
Then there are tracks that alternate between the two, taking the dynamic and eclectic edge this album has to a whole new level. Tracks like Arkangel, Hollywood and Varsity Hearts have a surreal and hazy feel as though this is all nothing more than a dream. Though, over the album’s length you will find the romanticised façade falling away and the sharpness of reality coming into focus.
There’s a lot to take in throughout Heroine and there’s no arguing with the intense level of experimentation going on throughout. It is this experimentation that keeps you listening on, desperate to see what Thornhill have to offer next. There’s no doubting this is going to be a highly divisive album but no matter what, Thornhill have done what they want to do and that will always be admirable.
Thornhill – Heroine Full Track Listing:
1. The Hellfire Club
2. Leather Wings
3. Blue Velvet
7. Something Terrible Came with The Rain
10. Varsity Hearts
Thornhill - Heroine (UNFD)
The Final Score - 7/10