Goldheart Assembly

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Goldheart Assembly
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresIndie pop, indie rock, indie folk
Years active2007–2017
LabelsFierce Panda
MembersJake Bowser
James Dale
Nicky Francis
Kyle Hall
John Herbert
Past membersThomas Hastings
Dominic Keshavarz

Goldheart Assembly were an English indie pop/rock band from London, England.


Goldheart Assembly formed in 2007, naming themselves after a Guided By Voices song, The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory.[1] They quickly found a lifelong fan in DJ Steve Lamacq, who, in February 2009, made them the first unsigned band to record a Radio 1 Maida Vale Session in over a decade.[2] In the same year, the band performed on the BBC Introducing Stage at the Glastonbury Festival,[3] as well as slots at the Camden Crawl,[4] Isle of Wight,[5] Wychwood,[6] Middlesbrough Music Live,[7] Reading & Leeds[8] and V festival.

Goldheart Assembly’s debut single, a double A-side featuring the tracks "So Long St. Christopher" and "Oh Really", was released on 15 June 2009 on the independent label Heron Recordings, set up by Pat Long the then assistant editor of the NME.[9][10]

In late 2009, Goldheart Assembly signed to the independent UK label Fierce Panda Records, who had previously launched the career of Coldplay.[11] Their debut album, Wolves and Thieves, was released to digital download on 8 March 2010, with CD release on 15 March. The majority of the album was recorded at Forncett Industrial Steam Museum in Norfolk, England, and several tracks feature the sound of live Victorian steam engines.[12] The remaining tracks were recorded at Jools Holland's Helicon studios with British producer Laurie Latham.[13] The album received widespread critical praise.

The band started working on their second album, Long Distance Song Effects, in 2011. Twenty five tracks initially recorded in London were gradually whittled down during trips back and forth to Lucerne where they recorded with Swiss musician Tobi Gmür, who they had met on an earlier European tour.[1]

Long Distance Song Effects, their second album, was released in July 2013. The Allmusic journalist, Heather Phares, noted that "the control and variety they display throughout Long Distance Song Effects shows that Goldheart Assembly have come into their own here".[14]

The band signed to Faber Music on 7 May 2013.[15]

In 2017, the band signed to LGM Records,[16] a newly founded label run by former EMF and VP of A&R for Epic Records Ian Dench, James Dale, Kaziu Gill and Felix Matthews[17].

In December 2017, the band announced that they would be reuniting with original members, Dominic Keshavarz and Thomas Hastings, to perform one final show in London.[18] Goldheart Assembly's Last Waltz was on 7 December 2017 at ULU. The band were joined on stage by members of The Magic Numbers, Starsailor, EMF, The Bluetones, Treetop Flyers, as well as, Lyla Foy, Ren Harvieu and Michelle Stodart.[19]


The band has recently picked up much favourable press, including a double-page article in NME magazine on 3 April 2010[20] and a feature in The Guardian's First Sight column.[21] They were also awarded the front cover of XYZ Magazine, with the interviewer claiming "Sometimes bands come along and make you remember why you love music. Goldheart Assembly are one of those bands."[12]

Since its release, Wolves and Thieves has received universal acclaim from the music and UK national press, with positive reviews in publications including Mojo, Uncut and NME magazines as well as The Sun and The Independent newspapers.

Mike Diver of the BBC stated that "Such is the inherent sweetness of Goldheart Assembly’s debut that the listener can’t fail to be touched by its charms."[22]

The second album, Long Distance Song Effects, also received widespread critical acclaim with publications such as The Guardian,[23] Metro,[24] Allmusic and NME[25] all awarding the album 4-star reviews.


A popular live act, Goldheart Assembly have toured multiple times with Band of Horses[26][27] and The Magic Numbers, and have also travelled extensively with acts such as The Civil Wars,[28] The Low Anthem,[29] We Are Scientists[30] and Black Mountain.[31]

The band has sold out legendary London venues such as the Dublin Castle, The Lexington, The Borderline, Bush Hall, the ICA, Kings College London Student Union and Scala.[32][33][4]

They have performed at festivals such as Austin's SXSW,[34] Vienna's Frequency Festival,[35] Reading & Leeds,[8] Glastonbury Festival,[3] Isle of Wight,[5] the Camden Crawl,[4] Wychwood,[6] Middlesbrough Music Live,[7] Hard Rock Calling and V festival.[36]

In March 2014, as part of Fierce Panda’s 20th anniversary celebrations, the band played Wolves and Thieves live in its entirety at a sell-out show at The Lexington in Kings Cross.[37]


Goldheart Assembly's sound has been described as organic[3] and characterised by pastoral west-coast style vocal harmonies.[21]

Initially compared to Seatle folk group The Fleet Foxes, journalists have since drawn comparisons with The Beatles,[24] Television, Traffic[13] and Dr Dog,[38] with Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens stating "Live, they succeed in being lovely and rousing, and have melodies to make Fleet Foxes back off and rethink their tunes."[39]

After the Break Up[edit]

Band members John Herbert, Jake Bowser, Nicky Francis and Kyle Hall went on to collaborate on new project Mono Club.[40] Nicky Francis has also released music with the orchestral-folk band The Quill.


Goldheart Assembly were:[41]

  • James Dale: lead vocals, bass, Autoharp, misc.
  • John Herbert: lead vocals, guitar, misc.
  • Nicky Francis: drums, vocals, misc.
  • Jake Bowser: instruments with keys, vocals, misc.
  • Kyle Hall: guitar.
  • Thomas Hastings: Portasound, ukulele, glockenspiel, vocals, misc.
  • Dominic Keshavarz: guitar.


  • "So Long St. Christopher" / "Oh Really" (June 2009) Heron Recordings[42]
  • "King of Rome" (March 2010) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Under The Waterway" (May 2010) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Last Decade" / "Going Down Well" (November 2010) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Harvest in the Snow" (free download) (March 2011) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Into Desperate Arms" (July 2014) EMI / New Music Club[43]


  1. ^ a b "Goldheart Assembly". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Goldheart Assembly, ICA, London". The Independent. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Glastonbury 2009 - Goldheart Assembly". BBC. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Goldheart Assembly - New Songs, Playlists & Latest News - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b [1] Archived 23 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b [2] Archived 15 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b "Tees - Entertainment - MML 2009". BBC. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Goldheart Assembly - Last Decade, 2009, Reading and Leeds Festival - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Heron Recordings". Discogs. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  10. ^ "The History of NME – Pavilion Books Group | The independent publisher with heritage". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  11. ^ Fungus, Slender. "Coldplay: News - Interview with Fierce Panda founder Simon Williams". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Interview: Goldheart Assembly | XYZ Brighton Events & Listings Magazine". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Ones To Watch: Goldheart Assembly". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Long Distance Song Effects - Goldheart Assembly : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Goldheart Assembly - Goldheart Assembly Sign to Faber Music - News - Faber Music". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  16. ^ "LGM Records | London based record label". LGM Records. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  17. ^ "One Liners: LGM Records, Sony/ATV, The Guardian, more | Complete Music Update". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Goldheart Assembly Announce Final Show". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Goldheart Assembly live review - ULU London". Louder Than War. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  20. ^ "NME". New Musical Express. 3 April 2010.
  21. ^ a b Dave Simpson (18 March 2010). "First sight: Goldheart Assembly | Culture". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  22. ^ Diver, Mike. "BBC - Music - Review of Goldheart Assembly - Wolves and Thieves". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  23. ^ Simpson, Dave (27 June 2013). "Goldheart Assembly: Long Distance Song Effects – review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  24. ^ a b Metro, Arwa Haider for (5 July 2013). "The wilful adventures of Goldheart Assembly". Metro. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Music & Film Reviews | NME.COM". NME. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  26. ^ "Goldheart Assembly – Band of Horses tour 2012 | Intelligent Noise". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  27. ^ "bandofhorseslive11". MUDKISS FANZINE. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Houston Press March 17, 2011". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  29. ^ Simpson, Dave (18 March 2010). "First sight: Goldheart Assembly". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  30. ^ "We Are Scientists / Goldheart Assembly / Rewards - Leeds Met Union, Leeds -". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  31. ^ "Goldheart Assembly". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  32. ^ "Goldheart Assembly new single and tour dates". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  33. ^ Pain, Andrew (17 June 2011). "Gig of the week: Goldheart Assembly". gazettelive. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  34. ^ "Goldheart Assembly's schedule for SCHED* SXSW 2011". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  35. ^ "FM4 Frequency Festival 2010". eFestivals. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  36. ^ "Goldheart Assembly new Single and Live Dates!". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  37. ^ "Track Of The Day 28/1 - The Goldheart Assembly". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  38. ^ "Album Review: Goldheart Assembly - Long Distance Song Effects". DrownedInSound. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  39. ^ "Radio 1's Huw Stephens' Guide To Reading And Leeds - NME". NME. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  40. ^ "Premiere: Mono Club - 'Best Laid Plans'". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  41. ^ "Goldheart Assembly | MTV UK". Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  42. ^ Goldheart Assembly - So Long St. Christopher, retrieved 4 April 2017
  43. ^ Long Distance Song Effects by Goldheart Assembly, retrieved 4 April 2017

External links[edit]