Music Maker, Photo Taker, Film Shooter, Designer, Occasional Actor,
Retired Television Presenter, Dreamer,
Part-Time Realist, Princeologist,
Thanks for dropping by. I am Heron and I like making things. This is the digital home for some of my ‘Cracked Analogue’ adventures and exploits. These include music, film, photography, and design. If you haven’t already, I hope that you’ll find something you enjoy.
If you connect with any of my work and would like to say hi or collaborate, feel free to drop me a line. While I love to work alone, I’m also excited about exploring new avenues of expression with others and embarking on interesting creative escapades with kindred spirits.
I am very proud to announce that the latest project here at Cracked Analogue is the collaboration between myself and the uber-talented Cathy Jain. At just 15, Cathy’s debut single ‘I See Us In Heaven’ was made remotely from her bedroom in the UK and my own studio here in India. It was quickly picked up by Radio One in the UK and via our evolving long distance collaboration, she has recorded and released several more singles during 2020.
‘Green Screen’ was released in November 2020 and she continues to create a totally unique musical identity through her own brand of ‘alternative bedroom pop’. Stay tuned for more releases in 2021. This girl is wise beyond her years and is going places!
“Most gloriously, The Brown Room catches an artist as yet unaffected and overawed by big-budget commercial imperatives. The mistakes are left in, and only increase the sense of a musician with a lot to say, and in a hurry to say it: What a way to begin.”
Dan Cairns – The Sunday Times Magazine Record Of The Week 3/3
“This is a very special album indeed. Heron is a modern day Harry Nilsson with tunes and attitude aplenty. He’s also one of the most exiting talents to emerge this year. Don’t take my word for it. Give the album a listen and prepare to have your head expanded.”
What’s On Magazine
Album Of The Month 4/5
“Heron’s DIY debut is about as indigenous to Liverpool as bikini car-washes to Siberia. Heron sounds increasingly like Oar-period Skip Spence. No mean feat.”
Uncut Magazine ***
“The Brown Room is full of off-kilter, warped country tunes, unfocused psychedelia and lo-fi slacker rap. There is imagination at work here and the album is rarely dull.”
Q Magazine ***
“The Brown Room sparkles with the wit of ‘Odelay’ and the confidence of ‘Around The World In A Day.”
The Fly Magazine ****
“A home-made delight where no consideration has been given to markets or boundaries.”
“We Get High is a perfect Gorkyesque slice of acoustic psychedelica, I’ll B Your Alibi felicitously introduces Loudon Wainwright III to hip hop, while closer Every Little Thing boasts a prettiness redolent of prime Scritti Politti.”
Mojo Magazine ***
“This debut album has it all.”
Hot Stars ****
“Heron is one of those schizo singers (à la Beck and Badly Drawn Boy) that plunders from all sources and sounds. Make sure that he doesn’t pass you by.”
“Heron has basically managed to cram all of his influences into one 30 minute masterpiece that still invigorates with every listen, and that’s why this is one album you must own this year.”
“A pissed up son-of-Beck-possessed-by-beelzebub subterranean blues hoe-down. Look out, kids.”
“Music that is untouched and raw.”
BBC Radio Stoke Online
“Proving that navel-gazing still has some life in it, the album also confirms that the new acoustic movement has been beaten senseless by the left-right of iconoclastic solo quirkiness and good old fashioned electric guitars.”
The Sunday Times: Culture Magazine
“In the tradition of premier releases by artists like The The and Baby Bird, this debut is a mighty potent concoction assembled from creaking electronic beats and shuffling analogue accompaniments, while the songs themselves are funny, flirtatious and shot through with ripples of darkness.”
“The world needs eccentric performers with supreme songwriting ability and there’s none more eccentric and talented than Heron. Tracks like ‘Punk Muthafucka’ and ‘Keyboard song’ will establish him as a lo-fi mixture of Beck, Badly Drawn Boy, Syd Barratt and Brian Wilson, while the strange but beautiful ballad ‘Every Little Thing’ has hit record written all over it.”
What’s On Magazine
“Jukebox Saloon’ is what the Bugsy Malone soundtrack might have sounded like if it’d been scored by Super Furry Animals, all collapsing breakbeats and music hall piano, while ‘Lemon Aid’ is lo-fi toytown dope-hop, kind of like Gonzales with less sleaze and more wonky sound effects. Heron might be just the thing we all need.”
“Listening to Heron’s debut, The Brown Room, is like taking a laid-back trip through a landscape of lo-fi beats and sounds, not quite knowing where you are going or where you’ll find yourself at the end of the eclectic journey. An interesting example of what a perfect summer album should be.”
BBC Manchester Online
“Here’s one of those bedroom debuts that appears to have been made with a beatbox, a keyboard and an old hairdryer. The plaintive ‘We Get High’, ‘I’ll Be Your Alibi’ and Cotton Clubesque ‘Jukebox Saloon’ are engaging indie gems – enough to win him funds to dispense with the hairdryer next time round.”
“A self-produced majestic effort, blending American country, ’60s rock, psychedelia and electronica. Heron mixes a plethora of influences from the last four decades, whilst still conjuring up his own magical sound.”
“I do wish you’d cut the swearing out. I much prefer the ‘Not For Sale’ piano recording on Cracked Analogue.”
‘Acetate Hustler’ is currently exclusive to this site via Vimeo. It contains the full uncensored ‘Damn Near 6 Minutes Mix’. Unfortunately, it ended up containing some inexcusable profanity, so if you are easily offended, please feel free to pass.
It was a real pleasure to be interviewed by the musical maverick that is Cathy Jain. Amongst other things, we discuss our remote collaboration, Frank Ocean, Frank Zappa and her third single ‘Green Screen’.
As a recording artist, I have major record label experience. I also produce and co-write with other artists that I feel a connection with.
My recordings have been released through Virgin/EMI as well as my own Cracked Analogue label. They have also been featured in films & adverts.
Recordings are produced & mixed from my own studio or using laptops and mobile devices. All personal commercial releases were mastered at Abbey Road and Metropolis.
After studying film at university in Liverpool, I went on to write & present TV shows on ITV, UK. I direct and edit my own films/music videos.
An original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera or iPhone is my preferred way of shooting these days. I edit with any apps I can get my hands on and Davinci Resolve.
My setup is fairly minimal and based around a MacBook Pro, Universal Audio Interface, and a few other bits and pieces listed in the studio section.
MacBook Pro 15″
Caldigit TS3 Plus
Acer 43″ 4K Screen
UA Apollo Twin Quad
UA Satellite Octo X2
IK Multimedia MTM’s
Avantone Mix Cube
Mackie Big Knob Passive
Focal Listen Professional
Teenage Engineering OP-1
iPad Pro 10.5
Focusrite iTrack Dock
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Varavon Multifinder Viewfinder
SNOW is a film directed by Washington Buckley. Like many interesting and spontaneous occurrences in my life, I met him one day in a cinema in the city centre of Liverpool. He asked me if I would become a character in a film he was making. After a brief and quite fascinating conversation, I obliged. At that stage, the film was almost complete, and I played a small role as a taxi driver. He then asked me if I would perform a larger role in his next film SNOW. There would be no script, and the film would be improvised. The video above includes only the scenes in which I appear.
Most of my time is spent recording music, taking pictures or making films. I create wherever I can, either in my home studio or on the move using my iPhone / Blackmagic Camera.
My approach is fearless, naive, explorative, experimental, playful, indulgent, uncensored, uninhibited, and often, unashamedly melodic. The process is mostly spontaneous and I try not to over think it. Hit me up if you feel like collaborating!