Carving a new space in the 21st century for post-punk, Brisbane Australia’s Sacred Hearts reject tradition in every form. Religious confinement? Traditional feminine roles? Not for them. This “proudly queer and politically active” band of fierce females and enbys are forging their own paths. They reject those old clichés and platitudes, channeling their focus instead on the grit of the female experience and all its ups and downs. Mental illness, liberation, addiction, and rejection of Abrahamic patriarchy are subjects, as they make space for the divine feminine. Although their sound is closer to Berlin, B-52s, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Missing Persons, the overlying attitude is pure Riot Grrrl energy.
Their latest release, a double single called “Catholic Guilt,” addresses…well, just that. Anyone who’s known the constraints and hidden evils of organised religion understands this particular Purgatory, and their haunting, evocative vocals with accented bass and hypnotic guitar riffs transport you to shadowy bars and hazy clubs of times gone by. Their pained voices work through the trauma and rage with growling refrains; as if they are consciously rewriting these ancient, patriarchal rites of passage and reforming their own paths to spiritual peace.
The name Sacred Hearts is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the sacred heart of Jesus, found in Roman Catholicism. This motif has deep meaning to singer June Gray, whose childhood and adolescence were steeped in religious imagery, indoctrination, and aesthetics. After meeting guitarist Josie, a fellow Catholic high school student, the band gelled with the addition of Bella Molloy on bass.
“One of my earliest memories is sitting in church as a small child and thinking about how pointless it was to be there,” June explains. “I dreaded Sunday mornings as that meant Sunday school and church. I knew from a young age that I didn’t believe in god nor the restrictive and conservative laws of the Bible.” This song is written from the perspective of the older self, the wiser self – the woman that ate the Apple of Eden.
“One of the lines is directly from The Lord’s Prayer, which I vividly remember doing before bed as a child,” says June. “It was something that scared me, super morbid looking back on it. Another line is a perverse version of The Hail Mary, another prayer I did throughout primary and high school.”
Listen to the double singles below:
You can also purchase their music here on Bandcamp:
‘Catholic Guilt’ was recorded, mixed, and produced by Kyle Hallam. ‘Catholic Guilt II’ was recorded, mixed and produced by Jed A. Walters. Both tracks were mastered by Mark Gemini Thwaite.
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