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Who is Mr. Softheart?

Watch the debut music video for Mr. Softheart!

A new band, Mr. Softheart, is on our "must-see" list right now. You've met most of these band members before if you were following the glam-punk band Hex Girls.

One of the rising names in Iowa music the past few years was Hex Girls, a powerful, 5-piece glam-punk band that played all the big Iowa festivals, and seemed to have their sights on even bigger fish. They played all over the state, blowing audiences away, and people seemed to be paying attention.

The core three members of Hex Girls, brothers Nick and John Fisher, and Charlie Patterson, have now branched off with a new project, Mr. Softheart, and are taking an entirely new direction.

“We started writing new material last summer,” says Nick Fisher, “and the songs I was writing just seemed to suit themselves to something different.”

John Fisher agrees, saying that the pandemic had an impact. “I can’t drum, but I can type things into a computer,” he jokes, an interest that led to learning the ins and outs of beat production. They both cite diverse influences such as Nick Cave, Suicide and a new L.A.-based band called Automatic.

The band began to send beats, synths and guitar hooks back and forth, constructing new songs and getting increasingly excited about what they were creating.

“We’ve just released two singles, and another is on the way, with our goal being to create a full-length album,” says Nick, “We’re playing about six or seven songs in our live set right now, so the goal is to record those.”

The band recently played a pretty outstanding set at Gas Lamp at an after-party for 80/35, and debuted some of their new work at Illiterati Fest, a goodbye concert for Anthony Worden at Gabe's in Iowa City.

When asked about translating the electronic nature of the songs to a live setting, John laughs and says, “It’s the scary part for sure, but it’s also fun to do things that scare yourself sometimes.”

Listen

If you're intrigued, we urge you to take a listen to the two new debut singles from Mr. Softheart:

1. “Caravaggio” manages to combine a deep-voiced, exotic narrative that is sort of half-sung with a dance beat and synth hooks.

2. “Flower Of Tomorrow” rides a Middle Eastern drone for all it’s worth, and wouldn’t be out of place on an avant-garde soundtrack or some of the stranger records released in the 60s.

Upcoming shows

July 21 - Lawrence, KS at Replay Lounge with Arthur Black, Flora and Blanky

July 23 - Tulsa, OK at Whittier Bar with Gardensnakes and Dead Shakes

July 27 - Minneapolis, MN at Palmer's Bar with Malamiko and Onion Bun

July 28 - Ames, IA at London Underground with TBA

July 29 - Des Moines, IA at Gas Lamp with Joel Sires and Blanky

July 30 - Cedar Falls, IA at Octopus College Hill with Double Dice and Blanky

Bryon Dudley has written about the Iowa music scene for the Des Moines Music Coalition, the Iowa Informer, Little Village, and now IPR Studio One (amongst others). He is passionate about Iowa music, and performs with his own bands: Strong Like Bear, Moonrabbit, Rockets of Desire and The Cherrypickers.