Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, the perfectly polite and thoroughly talented duo The Truhearts used their built-for-radio indie-folk charm to claim the Artist of the Week crown.
Their music is bright and textured and substantial without being heavy or cumbersome. So we reached out to ask them things about things. They answered, in turn, with words about words.
Keep it moving to read about how every song is really about bass fishing, how to deliver the perfect "Let's Mend Our Relationship" song and find out what happened to the missing "e" in "The Truhearts."
Rocks Off: First, tell everyone everything they need to know about The Truhearts in exactly six words.
The Truhearts: Impossible. I couldn't do it in 600 'cause I'm not sure what they need to know. They just need to listen and maybe they'll make a connection. Maybe it'll make them happy or sad or move them in some way. But that's the best thing, when the music affects people, hopefully in a positive way.
Even if it's not necessarily a positive song, the message someone gets can be positive because perhaps they relate to a specific emotion expressd in the song and it sometimes feels good to know someone's been there to.
Okay, sorry, six words: Beauty in darkness, love, hope & optimism. Joyful.
I guess that was the artful approach.
How about: Music that sounds good, even to grandma.
That's six words and a number. I suppose those are my final answers.
RO: Here's one for you: Did you know that more than 41 percent of the words on the titles of the songs on your new album are either "I," "You," "Me" or "Love"? Care to explain?
TT: I did not know that. I did realize the word "you" was in there a lot. We just decided to go with straight forward titles that match the songs and that's what they were. We kind of got on a "love-you-but-hate-you-but-can't-live-without you" sort of theme and just went with it for this album.
That's why it's called Ghost of Love. I think the title is self explanatory but just in case, here is what it means: That maybe you feel like it's not working out and so you try to move on but you can't cause the love is still there even, if you don't want it to be. Like a ghost. I think that explains it.
RO: The first two tracks on the album are "Because of You" and "I Still Love You." The implication here seems clear, but we figured we'd ask to be certain: You're referring to becoming a professional bass fisherman, right? Did we get that right?
TT: I think you hit it dead on. I actually grew up bass fishing and that is what the majority of the songs are about. See, they may not seem like it at first but when you dig deep you'll find the metaphor. It's all fishing.
Rapalas or plastic worms, crank baits or spinner baits, I say to use Carolina Rigs and she says Texas rigs and then there's a big fight. What can you do? An old roommate of mine used to make a convincing argument that every song is secretly about drugs. That was his take on things but I think bass fishing could be just as believable.
But actually, the first track, "Because of You," starts off the album by stating that there is something very positive going on here and, lyrically, that is important to remember as the album goes on.
"I Still Love You" is the next song and I guess the meaning there is pretty clear: Even though there is a whole lot of negative stuff, I do actually still love you. As if I can't help it? Once again, lyrically, the whole album is one big conversation and it goes through the different thoughts and emotions and in the end comes full circle to say "this love can't be denied."
RO: Are the two of you an item?
TT: Yes, we are a musical item called The Truhearts. You can pick us up at CDBaby, iTunes and other places where fine music is sold.
RO: Let's say our girlfriend left us, and we were intent on winning her back through song. What advice can you give to young songwriters looking to win a girl's (or guys) affection through music?
TT: Well, first you better make sure that he/she is really into music or else they are going to get real annoyed with you sitting around strumming a guitar all the time. Believe me, I know. Then if you are going to write something and plan to play it for them, put something personal in there that only they would get.
They'll like that cause they'll know it's only for them. Then play it for them somewhere when they are not expecting it and make sure they're listening. It kind of ruins the moment if you have to sing your "money" line twice.
It could be in front of lots of people or just the two of you, use your judgement. It kind of depends on the person and how embarassed they'll get. You don't want them to be too embarassed 'cause that might prevent them from realizing the moment and actually hearing your great song. If that doesn't work, just play them a Van Morrison song like "Tupelo Honey" or "Crazy Love." Those are always good.
RO: What happened to the E in The Truhearts? Where'd it go? Was it too heartbroken to show up anymore? Or rather, was it too heartbrokn?
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TT: I must say that is a well-crafted question. I think that little E went to the market. Strike that. It's actual very simple though. True Hearts is two words. "True" is an adjective and Heart is a noun and (I think, my grammar is shady) together imply that we are talking about "hearts." However Truhearts is one word. It implies that we are talking about "someone", a person. Someone who is true, true to one's self, tue to what one believes in, true to one's friends, true to one's love, true to the way things should be done.... You get it, right? Besides "The Truehearts" doesn't look nearly as cool.