by Erinn Fortson
Social networking has proved to be very beneficial for Tyler and Maggie Heath. It’s the reason that I and many other listeners discovered The Oh Hellos. As of today, the band’s Facebook page has over 7,000 “likes”. When I heard “Like the Dawn” for the first time last fall, The Oh Hellos were celebrating their reach of 3,000 fans. The word is definitely out.
This brother and sister duo released their second album in October of 2012. The response to the record was immediate. It was quickly voted a top seller on Bandcamp and the group is still working vigorously to ship orders to buyers who purchased a physical copy of Through the Deep, Dark Valley.
Hailing from Texas, Tyler and Maggie Heath’s initial collaboration centered on a family celebration. “The first project we ever worked on together was a song we wrote for our mother’s birthday in 2011”, says Tyler. “It was very silly, and really just served to poke fun at her via inside family jokes. We had a lot of fun working on it, so we figured we’d probably enjoy writing more music together.” From here, the Heath siblings formed The Oh Hellos and released their debut album the same year. A track from the record, Hello My Old Heart was recently featured on an episode of NBC’s “Parenthood”.
Through the Deep, Dark Valley features an accompaniment of fellow musicians that assisted with the creation of the record. “The folks who helped us out in the studio are good friends of ours from the San Marcos area who we’ve played lots of shows with and also kind of really just like a lot”, says Tyler. When official tour dates are set by the band, having these various musicians join Tyler and Maggie on the road will be part of the plan.
As with their first album, Tyler and Maggie Heath self-produced Through the Deep, Dark Valley and it sounds like this is a process the band will continue doing themselves. “I feel like our self-production is what gives our music its signature sound”, says Tyler. “Not to mention, we’d probably drive producers insane with how often we start songs over from scratch! It’s an incredibly difficult process, but that doesn’t really make it any less rewarding.”
The sounds of The Oh Hellos have been associated with bands such as The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, and The Head And The Heart. All comparisons aside, the band is making quite a bit of noise in their own right, introducing listeners to original music that stands out without any help. Tyler and Maggie Heath once again prove the success of the DIY approach, acting as an inspiration to the millions of unsigned musicians creating music. “The independent music scene will still be going strong in five years”, says Tyler. “Artists are already making it more and more, and by the looks of it, that trend will only continue.”