The Heavy

Bath, England's the Heavy draw influence from funk, soul, hip-hop, and the gritty garage rock of the Sonics.

Guitarist Dan Taylor and vocalist Kelvin Swaby became friends in the 1990s, bonding over a shared appreciation for vintage R&B and Jim Jarmusch films. Joined by bassist Spencer Page, drummer Chris Ellul, and keyboardist Hannah Collins, the two launched their own act -- the Heavy -- and began combining Taylor's distorted guitars with lo-fi samples, horn riffs, stomping percussion, and soulful Prince-styled vocals. The photogenic band made its studio debut in 2007, releasing several singles on Counter -- a sublabel of the London-based Ninja Tune -- before issuing the full-length Great Vengeance & Furious Fire that fall. An American release followed in early 2008 on the newly minted +1 Records. The Heavy returned minus Collins with their second album, The House That Dirt Built, in 2009. Its most significant inclusion was easily the Dyke & the Blazers-sampling "How You Like Me Now?," which featured the Dap-Kings Horns, was licensed for films and television ads, and subsequently achieved certified gold status from the RIAA. In 2012, the band delivered the self-produced The Glorious Dead. Recorded in Columbus, Georgia, it deepened their connection to Southern soul. The band continued to tour extensively and benefited from media licensing of several other songs. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi