“Climb the top of the hill, darling. I’ll be here,” sings Kaiya Derkach-Kodie, Tiana Barnes, and Heaven Brownell (Heaven & the Ghosts) in Poinsettia opener “HIIITOP II”. With its reverb dipped vocals and guitar, the song swirls in a way that makes me think the band has climbed to the top of that hill to recreate the iconic opening sequence of The Sound Of Music. Wind blowing and arms stretched out, the trio see things more clearly from up here so that’s where they decide to stay for the rest of the EP.
The whirling reverb-heavy tone of the opening track, stays strong in the remaining songs but the effect isn’t as ghostly as the band name Heaven & the Ghosts would suggest. Together, the trio sound sturdy – they have each other’s back – and the psych-pop wash simply adds a tie-dye splash of colour. “Good Morning Bonnie Doon,” a bouncy baroque-pop number, dances on the morning’s sunbeam and the “funky keys” in the background of “Bitter Wind Mountain Man” is Poinsettia‘s most colourful moment.
On “Blue Night in the Bedroom” Heaven & The Ghosts stand tallest. Their collective voice is that of someone who has come out the other side of crappy relationship and are stronger for it. Feet firmly planted on the hilltop, they sway, only slightly moved by the past, during the first two minutes of the song but at the 2:50 mark they yell, “such a melancholy memory!” and kick-up the volume of the backing instrumentals. As if together they are finally putting the memory to rest while also letting it be known that Heaven & The Ghosts is far from an apparition.
Top Track: “Blue Night in the Bedroom”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)