Giving gothic rock a fresh and woke breath of life – here’s why Sacred Hearts are your new favourite band…
Take a look around you. A really good look. What do you see? What do you hear? How do you feel? For Brisbane gothic post-punk trio Sacred Hearts, the reality of today isn’t so lush and resplendent as we all try so hard to make it out to be and you better be paying attention.
With lyrics as bold and fierce as their kohl rimmed eyes, Sacred Hearts make their musical debut with a poetic criticism of the entertainment industry through their bleakly romantic single ‘Glamour Girls’ – and singer June Gray tells BLUNT that the best is yet to come.
Everyone has an origin story. Who are Sacred Hearts and how did you all come to be?
Sacred Hearts is a gothic rock-inspired band from Meanjin (Brisbane). A three-piece group, composed of queer female and nonbinary individuals. The name Sacred Hearts in itself is a tongue in cheek response to Catholicism, with the band’s name in reference to the sacred heart of Jesus.
I was raised strictly Catholic; from a young age I knew I didn’t believe in a male God. I found Catholicism to be conservative and patriarchal, with followers of it tending to be close-minded. I went through Catholic preschool, primary and high school – going to church multiple times a week only made me loathe it more. That aside, I have always been fascinated by the aesthetics of Christian architecture, literature, and art. This imagery is something I brought to the band, the gothic, baroque, and medieval aesthetic.
I sing for Sacred Hearts, I like to play rhythm guitar and occasionally synth. I met Josie, [our] guitarist, at Catholic high school about 3 years ago and we started playing covers together a little over a year ago. The band had trialled jamming with a couple of other musicians before I realised the perfect fit was my best friend, which should’ve been an obvious choice. Bella Molloy plays bass for Sacred Hearts. We use a drum machine to get the artificial, cold sound of gothic drums.
What is the Sacred Hearts’ ethos?
Sacred Hearts believes and advocates for Indigenous rights, empowering POC voices, feminism, queer liberation, and anti-consumerism. I personally like to write lyrics from experience as I believe it’s the most authentic way to write poetry. My lyrics are metaphor heavy, full of spite and dark romanticism. Visually, Sacred Hearts becomes a caricature of goth, embracing the trashiness and campiness and having fun with it.
Do you have any previous musical endeavours or is this your first big leap? If so, what made you make the jump?
‘Glamour Girls’ is our first release, I’ve never made music before and neither have the girls. Josie and I had been covering music and posting it to YouTube as a hobby before we started writing originals. This gave us a sense of identity and built our confidence. We decided in March that we wanted to get ‘Glamour Girls’ produced. I felt we were ready to put ourselves out there, and despite having no musical background I had always wanted to make my own song. The single was produced with the help of our friends Brock Ravest and Amos Ridgeway in their garage.
What are some of the influences that have helped shape the group, musically or otherwise? What inspires you?
This band has been inspired by hundreds of artists, spanning the genres of psychedelic rock, riot grrrl, shoegaze, rockabilly, industrial, post punk, synth pop and of course gothic rock. Siouxsie and the Banshees would definitely be our most obvious influence. The Cure, The Cocteau Twins, The Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division and Bauhaus heavily influenced us as well. The band wants to take the darkest parts of the 80s and give it a new breath of life.
Tell me a bit about ‘Glamour Girls’ – what was the driving force behind this single? How did you come to decide that this will be your debut?
‘Glamour Girls’ is a song about the manipulation of women in the entertainment industries, particularly pop singers, models, and actresses. From Marilyn Monroe to Anna Nicole Smith, Judy Garland to Amy Winehouse. ‘Glamour Girls’ takes a stab at the illusion of the Hollywood dream, warning of the dark reality that lies below the sugar-coated surface. I decided that this was the debut single as it was a song that was close to home. Especially as I have not previously heard this concept written about a lot in the music.
Are you currently working on releasing more music soon?
We are currently working on more originals. We have a couple of unfinished songs that are almost ready to be produced. Another single or an EP will be out in the coming months so stay tuned on our Instagram.
What does an ideal world look like for Sacred Hearts?
To put it simply, I dream of a world of social equality/equity. We live in a time of chaos, corruption, and injustice, particularly for marginalised groups.
If listeners were to take one thing away from your music, what should it be?
A key message from our music would be to reflect about the world around you.
Feature Image: Nell Elphinstone