Song Reviews

The Poltergeist in Saint Etienne’s “Heather” will Seduce and Haunt You

By this time, Saint Etienne has at least a dozen LPs to their name. They’ve released countless singles, several EPs, and you can find their work remixed and worked over by DJs across the globe. They are among the more prolific of European dance pop artists. And they are back.

Saint Etienne

The new album is called Home Counties and it’s due out June 2 on their longtime label Heavenly Recordings.

The first song to be debuted from the forthcoming LP is “Heather”, a somewhat spooky yet entirely upbeat dark electro-pop track.

Saint Etienne’s music has always leaned toward electronic and dance, and on “Heather” the band stays the course. For a band that has been around nearly 30 years, it’s almost hard to believe that they keep getting better and better.

“Heather” is a seductive, haunting track that references the Enfield Poltergeist. The case began in 1977 when police were called to a rented home where a woman and her four children lived due to what they claimed was paranormal activity.

Over time, the family reported furniture and belongings moving on their own, demonic voices speaking from somewhere inside the house, and seeing the children levitating.

The events were popularizes through several articles and subsequent films and documentaries, including the 1992 BBC made-for-TV movie Ghostwatch.

While not related to the film Poltergeist, the song’s title could be taken from Heather O’Rourke, a child actress from the movie who died at age 12.

Saint Etienne’s 2012 LP Words And Music was pretty damn solid. I thoroughly enjoyed their 2005 LP Tales from the Turnpike. And if we travel all the way back to 1991, their debut Foxbase Alpha was equally amazing.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a Saint Etienne song as addictive as “Heather”. It’s been on repeat for the last hour.

OK, maybe that’s not true. Their cover of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” off Foxbase Alphas was probably equally as seductive.

Still, I’m thoroughly looking forward to picking up Home Counties in a few months.

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