Heifervescent is essentially the solo project of Andy Doran, writing, performing and producing each track. The music has often been classed as beautiful yet sullen soundscapes, laying strong simple melodies and chiming guitars onto a bed of ambient string and hypnotic electronic arrangements. This has certainly been the case of the latest offering Little Egg and 2005′s Pondlife Fiasco.
Way before Heifervescent, Andy Doran was singer/songwriter with Monkeyland, a 4 piece indie guitar band based in the North West of England. In the 1990s, in the midst of BritPop, Monkeyland played alongside notable indie bands such as Shed Seven, The House of Love, Power of Dreams and The Railway Children and released Placebo, a 4 track EP. As the decade came to a close, so did the band.
In 2000, there was a brief reformation as Cannula, this time with Dave Spencer on vocals and Andy on guitars and synths. The band recorded one album ‘A Neon Serenade’ which you can listen to here. Cannula was relatively short lived, after which Andy went back to working with animation, producing videos for Inspiral Carpets and Mountaineers. Dave and Woody, Monkeyland’s drummer have since been recording and performing together under Cheshire Lines Committee and you can read more here
After Cannula fizzled out there was a brief lull. Still having the urge to write, Andy started writing songs with no preconceptions or media influences.
It was still a nameless music project and there was no urgent drive to come up with some fake identity or pseudonym or whatever. For New Year Andy went away with some friends and stayed in a nice farmhouse in the Peak district for a few days. After a particularly heavy New Year’s Eve drinking session, the house was manic with the sounds of tidying up – bottles being thrown into binbags and hoovering.
Everything was too loud and so he wandered outside and across the road where a herd of cows had gathered silently. He stood facing them and enjoyed a very strange sense of tranquility from attempting to stare them out. Who was going to crack first? AD or Cow? Andy won! The cows couldn’t take it and off they sauntered. But for some reason that bovine staring competition was both relaxing and refreshing. It was like an effervescent – only with cows, and so began Heifervescent.
The debut album Hoofed and Dangerous was produced, with Monkeyland bass player, Neil Wignall adding some deep tones. This was followed by the folkier Verbal Bandit in 2003 and then the darker Murder in the Garden in 2004.
2005 brought the most played Heifervescent album so far – Pondlife Fiasco, featuring the most downloaded Heifervescent track – Deep Sea Diver. An instrumental version of Pondlife was also produced, many tracks being used for commercial use in advertising and film. Between 2005 and 2010, Andy spent much time writing for advertising, animation and experimental work, then in 2010 released The Glue Factory. All the tracks on this album were recorded at least 5 years before, but had never made it past the mastering mix. In 2011, Andy also revsited lots of Monkeyland tracks that had previously never got past the demo stage. This came out as a new set of recordings of Monkeyland songs called Further Adventures in Monkeyland. Immediately after this Andy started working on a new album. Over 30 tracks were written and recorded, but eventually this was shortlisted to the 12 tracks which now form Little Egg, Heifervescent’s 7th album.
Wake Up Sheepyhead is the 8th Heifervescent album.