Close your eyes and hear any of its songs, and this record will transport its listener’s imagination to scenes of classic Hollywood. Riding a creative wave driven by an affection for the glam and charm of this style, Thornhill‘s Jacob Charlton (vocals/lyrics) and Ethan McCann (guitar/production) birthed Heroine – a vivid anthology of stories set to a dynamic, cinema-inspired score.
Listeners will no doubt hear the moody and anthemic ‘Varsity Hearts’ and picture scenes from She’s All That, and be transported into the world of James Bond amid the spy-like breakdowns of ‘Casanova’. Elsewhere, the album references the sounds and styles of some of Hollywood’s most classic titles like Singing In The Rain, American Beauty and Baz Luhrmann’s epic Romeo & Juliet.
Drawn to the class and flare of this world, Thornhill offer a stunning listening and visual experience on Heroine as they channel music, cinema, visual art and storytelling into a cohesive body of work. On today’s newest single offering, itself titled Hollywood, Jacob shares more behind its narrative centred around the process of falling out of love:
“The premise of this song follows a protagonist, who is coming to terms with being in love with another girl he’s just met while still being in a relationship that has been slowly falling apart around him. This one in a million encounter with someone who has changed his entire world in a matter of glances is the theme we follow throughout the song until he finally builds the courage to say it out loud. He makes little decisions, puts his current partner in a bad light to make himself feel like he’s in the right and calls her names as she begs him to announce his true feelings for someone he’s met on their trip to Hollywood.”
Propped up against their acclaimed 2019 debut album The Dark Pool, there’s a profound new sense of clarity, vision and intention to be heard on Heroine. Where The Dark Pool touched fans with its mix of crushing riffage and atmospheric metalcore, this record finds Thornhill flexing their skills in the alternative and rock worlds, referencing a tapestry of sounds from the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to Silverchair and Deftones. At the same time harking to flavours of modern metalcore, Thornhill ultimately want to showcase what can be made of heavy and rock music when there are no borders. Heroine does just this, and comes complete with elevated visuals and theatrics to match.
Vocalist Jacob Charlton (who is also responsible for the band’s styling and music video writing and direction) shares that part of his growth during the album’s creation was finally nailing his own character and style as a vocalist and frontman, much like his performance idols such as Elvis, Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani pioneered in their own ways.
“I realised you’re not just singing your lyrics, you’re emoting. You’re conveying a message or a feeling not only through vocals, but through performance,” he muses. “Ethan (McCann, guitar/production) really brought that vibe to the instrumentation, and I was left thinking, “Oh, I can’t just sing or scream over this…. what can I do to match that energy he’s presented here, but in a way that people haven’t heard it in a metal setting?” I realised I needed my own character. I needed to bring that Elvis-y confidence and emotion to my performance to really be able to bring people into the world of what I’m singing about.”
Awarded a laundry list of accolades including triple j’s Feature Album and additions countless Best Of The Year lists with its 2019 release, The Dark Pool also garnered nominations including Best International Breakthrough Artist at the 2020 Heavy Music Awards, and Best Independent Heavy Album/EP at the 2020 AIR Awards. Meanwhile today, the album has amassed over 32 Million streams and 3 Million Youtube views on its music videos.