The Van Susans have been busy working on a new collection of songs which will be called Human Heat (due early 2019). This quintet made up by Olly Andrews (vocals, acoustic guitar), Ed Dullaway (piano, guitar), Holly McLatchie (violin), Dean Gibb (drums), and Harvey Simpson (bass), is excited to share them with the world.
A classic story retold…
Their latest single “Crossroads” is the first release from their upcoming album. It is about selling your soul at the crossroads to get what you want – a tale made famous from the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson. It has a darker tone than what the band usually offers, but it is a direction which works for them.
The song begins with a gentle bell-like intro before the vocals and violin come in. The opening lines instantly show off a storytelling quality, “No decision you made brought you closer to God / Never considered yourself as a sinner / There’s something you need / So give in to the greed / And take it all for your own.”
They continue to show off the depth that their story has to offer as they paint so much imagery with their words. Credit needs to go to Andrews as he uses his voice to add so much power and emotion to the lyrics.
As much as the song offers so much power, the chorus has a gentler, more controlled delivery. It gives the lines “I feel the need running deep / Running deep / Running deep” an added punch. As the track continues, they add lines to the hook to help progress the story. It’s different technique to how most songwriters assemble their songs, but one that works so well.
The soundtrack that accompanies the tale has a theatrical feel wrapped in their usual style of alternative folk rock. It’s great to hear but it’s McLatchie’s skills on the violin which steal the show. She mirrors the tone of the song to perfection but adds so much at the same time. This skill blends with the rest of the band to help create a captivating listening experience.
If “Crossroads” is a sign of things to come, the Van Susans album, Human Heat, will be essential listening.