Heron is an artist, songwriter, producer & mix engineer from the UK and is currently based in Goa, India. Journalists have compared his solo recordings to a diverse range of artists including Beck, Prince, The Beatles, Burt Bacharach, Harry Nilsson, Brian Wilson and many others.
Starting out in 2001, writing and producing from his home studio in Liverpool, Heron released two limited edition vinyl 7 inch singles on his own Cracked Analogue label, and was quickly signed to Hut Recordings (Virgin). On signing, he immediately released his self-produced debut album ‘The Brown Room’ to critical acclaim, including ‘Record Of The Week’ in The Sunday Times: Culture Magazine.
His second album ‘Heron Vs Heron’ was again self-produced but also included co-production on 5 tracks with Grammy Award winning producer Jim Abbiss (DJ Shadow, Adele, Arctic Monkeys). Unfortunately, only months before its release date, Hut Recordings folded and the release was postponed until many years later.
While Heron has always continued to write and record music, he stopped officially releasing material until he was approached prior to the lockdown in 2020 by Cathy Jain who was just 15 years old at the time. She invited him to collaborate remotely, on some demos she was working on. For more details, please refer to the producer section.
“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.”
“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 ***
“Heron blends an uncommon mix of styles, influences, and sounds into his own homespun brand of pop. Beatlesque vocal harmonies, soul-adjacent melodic sensibilities, and slightly Baroque instrumental arrangements all helped make records like 2009’s Heron Vs. Heron interesting and tuneful collections of retro-pop.”
“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 ***
“The repetitive piano chug of Punk Muthaf***a is pure I Am The Walrus. The determined whimsey of Jukebox Saloon is Honey Pie Macca to a T. And the line “Clear all the mind from your doubt”, on the very Lucy in the Sky-like We Get High, is quintessential Lennon.”
“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
“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
“Endearing DIY effort from the London Money Mark. Tune splattered, idiosyncratic pop music without all the fancy shit. ‘The Brown Room’ is a wilfully non-league gem that’s gagging for a larger audience.”
“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.”
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Heron co-wrote, produced & mixed all of Cathy Jain’s first 4 singles to widespread acclaim in 2020/21. Jain has since exploded onto the scene in the UK, with support from BBC Introducing, Radio One and the British music press. She then signed to Yala Records and all 4 tracks have now been rereleased as Cathy’s debut EP entitled ‘Artificial’. As a writer/producer, Heron’s style has been compared to productions by Frank Ocean, Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey and again Brian Wilson.
Following the first play of ‘Cool Kid‘ from 6Music’s Lauren Laverne, additional support came from Steve Lamacq and Radio One, adding the track to their coveted ‘Introducing Playlist‘ and making it ‘Record Of The Week‘. It also garnered big on-air talk ups from Annie Mac, Clara Amfo, Greg James, Adele Roberts and Jack Saunders who subsequently named it as his Next Wave pick. The track also made its way onto major playlists across Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify.
This momentum continued with the release of ‘Green Screen‘, which was play-listed on BBC 6Music, Apple Music while glowing write-ups from Clash, The Line Of Best Fit and NME added to the groundswell of support from leading industry tastemakers.
Heron currently creates music from his ‘Cracked Analogue Studio‘ in Goa, India which is set up for writing, producing, and delivering radio ready mixes.
“Cathy Jain will become the Face of Gen Z with R&B-leaning “cool kid”. As hazy as it is gorgeous, “cool kid” features vibey reverbs and calm synths we can’t get enough of.”
“Dropping her brand new ‘artificial’ EP via so-hot-right-now label YALA! Records today.
It’s absolutely bloody fan-f***ing-tastic.”
“A slick collection of alt-pop tracks about teenage authenticity, might have been produced between her bedroom in Cheshire and that of her India-based producer Heron, but there’s cinematic, ethereal textures here – that propel Jain’s first extended release to major heights immediately.”
“Cathy Jain stuns and delights in her debut EP Artificial. Jain’s penchant for delivering effortlessly hazy and sweet tracks veined with lush instrumentation have stapled her as one of the most intriguing ‘ones to watch’ on the indie music scene.
Teetering on the precipice of stardom, Cathy Jain’s unique ability to pen narratives of teen life is set to propel her into an unmatched trajectory.”
Fittingly, ‘artificial’ is introspective, a kind of sonic escape. The instrumentals are pared back on the surface, but complex underneath: Expansive soundscapes underpin the whole EP.”
“Echoing the modernist pop of Billie Eilish, the production flair of Frank Ocean’s more soothing moments, and Lana Del Rey’s nostalgia for the recent past; ‘artificial’ continues Cathy’s long distance collaboration with artist/producer Heron @ Cracked Analogue (based in India) who has co-written, produced and mixed all of her hazy, sun-kissed, R&B-tinged alt-pop tracks to date.”
“Psychedelia sits alongside unpretentious beats and epic, shimmering textures in a blissed-out time capsule of restless youth. Hints of Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey and even Frank Ocean all shine through, the resulting music somehow finding fresh, original ground to tread on.”
“There’s a hint of R&B in her alt-pop blend, with Cathy Jain locating something effortlessly relaxing.”
“Debut EP ‘artificial’ was a remarkable, confident, extremely rounded release, balancing personal revelation against some stunning alt-pop moments..”
“17-year-old Cathy Jain has released her incredibly impressive debut single ‘Cool Kid’ via Felix White’s YALA! Records.”
“The production quality of Cool Kid is a long way from being full of imperfections and noise. Instead Cool Kid has a warm languid feeling to it – think Maisie Peters jamming in the sun with Easy Life. “
“This ultra-chilled personality transfuses itself into the production too, which is supremely accomplished, a watery synth and muted click inviting you to relax into it, while subtle ribbons of brass waft through the atmosphere.”
“Green Screen’ is a sultry synth soaked single that seamlessly intertwines to create a psychedelic sound. Cathy’s gorgeous harmonies sweep you up and leave you encapsulated within one listen.”
“Emerging as a unique new voice in pop, the singer fuses hazy, sun-kissed alt-pop with tinges of R&B – all with a very modern flair for production. Breezy and nostalgic, it’s no wonder Cathy Jain is already garnering the support of some of the industry’s leading tastemakers.”
“My favourite track at the moment.”
Lauren Lavern: BBC 6 Music
Cathy Jain – Green Screen
“Blown away by this incredible song played by Lauren Laverne this morning. Cathy Jain with a piece of sumptuous gorgeousity with all the hallmarks of Brian Wilson in his Pet Sounds Pomp. Staggeringly beautiful.”
“He (Heron) has a very interesting style. It’s very funky and jazzy and psychedelic and weird,” Jain reveals, “and with the sort of more pop songs, the catchy melodies that I was writing, worked really well with his sort of weirdness, it really put a twist and gave an edge to the music.”
“I collaborated on the EP with Rob Heron remotely from my bedroom setup as he is based in Goa. This was way before lockdown so we were ahead of the trend!!!”
“Rob and I tried to emulate the feeling of a late summer afternoon with that wobbly synth you hear from the very beginning. From the second I heard it, the synth sound gave me such a strong feeling of nostalgia that I could almost picture the scene by the river. I got so much love for this song that I feel like it really resonated with people (especially those my age).”
“It is the first song that I worked on with Rob (I See Us In Heaven) and the dry, bit-crushed beats fit the theme so perfectly. It’s just really atmospheric and brings to mind a dark corner of a club somewhere.”
“It’s been a pleasure collaborating with such a unique and talented partner.”
“thank u to @heronvsheron for making this song with me, I’m so so proud of this one.”
Cathy Jain interviews Heron to discuss their remote collaboration. Topics include Frank Ocean, Frank Zappa, and her third single Green Screen.
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