Harriet Wheeler

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Harriet Wheeler
Born (1963-06-26) June 26, 1963 (age 50)
Genres Alternative rock
Occupations Singer
Associated acts The Sundays
Jim Jiminee

Harriet Wheeler (born 26 June 1963) is the lead singer of the 1980s/1990s alternative rock band, The Sundays.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Wheeler grew up in Sonning Common, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, the daughter of an architect and a teacher.[3] She was enrolled as an English literature student at Bristol University when she met David Gavurin.[3] The two shared a common passion for music, and despite little musical training (although Wheeler had sung in a band called Jim Jiminee before meeting Gavurin), released demos to various clubs in London.[3]

The Sundays[edit]

Wheeler and Gavurin were the core of a popular alternative band, The Sundays, with Paul Brindley on bass and Patrick Hannan on drums.[3] They decided upon the name by default as it was the only one they could all agree on.[3] The Sundays performed their first show in August 1988.[3]

Their debut album, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, was released in 1990.[3] Rolling Stone reviewer Ira Robbins called it "an alluring slice of lighter-than-air guitar pop, a collection of uncommonly good songs graced by Harriet Wheeler's wondrous singing."[3] The album sold over half a million copies around the world.[3]

The band released their second album, Blind, in 1992, and it also sold nearly half a million copies, giving the band another gold record.[3] Wheeler's vocals received the lion's share of praise.[3] One reviewer wrote, "Her singing is fluttery, mischievous, and full of unexpected, perverse flashes of tenderness."[3]

In February 1995, Wheeler and Gavurin had their first child, a daughter named Billie.[3] Parenthood prolonged the recording of their third album, but they eventually released Static & Silence in 1997. While some critics said The Sundays sounded exactly the same as before,[3][4] Kevin Raub of Ray Gun called Static & Silence "the band's most solid effort to date."[3]

Two years after the release of Static & Silence, Wheeler and Gavurin had their second child, a son named Frank in 1999.[5]


  1. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The rough guide to rock. Rough Guides. p. 1034. ISBN 1-84353-105-4. 
  2. ^ Tortorici, Frank (June 26, 1999). "The Sundays' Harriet Wheeler". VH1. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Brennan, Carol (1997). McConnell, Stacy A., ed. Contemporary Musicians 20. Gale Cengage. ISBN 978-0-7876-1177-4. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas Static & Silence at Allmusic Retrieved 9 May 2011
  5. ^ Arithmetic - Where Everyday is Like Sunday