Almost two years since their self-titled debut EP, Montreal hip-hop/R&B duo Heart Streets is back again with their latest EP Beats, Blunts & Broads. The four-track release dropped March 18 [get it here!], and will be followed by an official release party and performance this Friday!
Heart Streets, consisting of emcee Emma Beko and singer Gabrielle Godon, are much in demand around Montreal. Since 2011, they’ve performed at Pop Montreal and M for Montreal, opened for Radio Radio and Bran Van 3000, and been featured in all the major music press around town. Heart Streets’ collab track with DJ duo LOL boys, “Changes”, has even gotten Pitchfork buzz.
Heart Streets’ partners in crime aren’t just musical collaborators; Emma and Gabrielle have also been best friends since childhood. The honesty and warmth of that relationship infuses every beat of Heart Streets, and it’s hard not to be charmed by it. Their anthemic hit “Nonchalant” is an ode to hope and ambition, “Puerto Rican Mami” is a straight-up love story, and new EP tracks “Ruby” and “Word Up” are introspective think-pieces with soul to spare.
Their breezy sound is an easy fit. Beko’s hushed, husky emceeing is from the Snoop school of laid-back, complemented by Godon’s torch-singer tones. Andre Milton aka A+’s production glitters over spacey, chilled-out beats, with subtle instrumentation and a warm, summery vibes. Curveballs abound, including the witch-house grime of “Collision” and the cheeky early-’90s retro-synths of “Head Down High”. The latter track, featured on the new EP Beats, Blunts & Broads, also includes the talents of Ottawa emcee City Fidelia.
So what’s with the title? According to their website: “Naming this EP Beats, Blunts & Broads was a way of representing ourselves. It’s basically what we are. It sounds nice and it’s in “San Franciso knights” by People Under The Stairs, a song that we both love.” Huh.
It’s been a busy week for Heart Streets, and gearing up for Friday’s show doesn’t leave Emma and Gabrielle with much free time. Luckily, BandMark’s own Lisa Mac had a chance to get a brief Q&A in:
Five Quick Questions With BandMark
Lisa: What do you think most impacts an artist’s ability to get famous :Talent, timing, or connections?
Heart Streets: That’s hard to answer, but we would say timing. You can have talent and connections, but bad timing or good timing really makes the difference.
Lisa: Perfect world, 1 year from now?
Heart Streets: On tour playing the biggest venues around the world and sharing the stage with our hip-hop idols.
Lisa: Your biggest struggle of 2012?
Heart Streets: We made a big decision regarding our production and band members, it was extremely hard and pretty emotional.
Lisa: It’s not always easy to eat while recording. Fave studio grub?
Heart Streets: Mechada empanadas from “Bocadillos” below our studio.
Lisa: Something your fans don’t know. Secret tattoos, love stories?
Heart Streets: That we’re both single at the present moment, lol. Seriously, we share a lot with our fans, and what we don’t share keeps a bit of mystery to who we are.
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