Harriet Wheeler

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Harriet Wheeler
Birth nameHarriet Ella Wheeler[1]
Born (1963-06-26) 26 June 1963 (age 57)
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
GenresAlternative rock
Associated actsThe Sundays
Jim Jiminee

Harriet Wheeler (born 26 June 1963) is an English singer and songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the 1980s/90s alternative rock band the Sundays.[2][3]

Early years[edit]

Wheeler grew up in Sonning Common, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, the daughter of an architect and a teacher.[4] She studied English literature for her undergraduate degree at Bristol University when she met her future husband David Gavurin.[4] 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.[4][5]

The Sundays[edit]

Wheeler and Gavurin formed the core of the Sundays, with Paul Brindley on bass and Patrick Hannan on drums.[4] They decided upon the name by default as it was the only one they could all agree on.[4] The Sundays performed their first show in August 1988.[4]

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, their debut album, was released in 1990.[4] 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."[4] The album sold over half a million copies around the world.[4]

The band released Blind, their second album, in 1992, and it also sold nearly half a million copies, giving the band another gold record.[4] Wheeler's vocals received the lion's share of praise.[4] One reviewer wrote, "Her singing is fluttery, mischievous, and full of unexpected, perverse flashes of tenderness."[4]

In March 1995, Wheeler and Gavurin had their first child, a daughter named Billie.[4] 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,[4][6] Kevin Raub of Ray Gun called Static & Silence "the band's most solid effort to date."[4]

Two years after the release of Static & Silence, Wheeler and Gavurin had their second child, a son named Frank in 1999.[7]

Although an interview in American Airlines' in-flight magazine with Wheeler and her husband Gavurin in 2014 suggested that they are recording music again [8], they have not released any music since the 1990s and have maintained a very low media presence since then.


  1. ^ "Harriet Wheeler". Repertoire.bmi.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  2. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The rough guide to rock. Rough Guides. p. 1034. ISBN 1-84353-105-4.
  3. ^ Tortorici, Frank (26 June 1999). "The Sundays' Harriet Wheeler". VH1. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  4. ^ 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 30 March 2011.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas Static & Silence at Allmusic Retrieved 9 May 2011
  6. ^ "Arithmetic – Where Everyday is Like Sunday". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/apr/23/the-sundays-are-writing-together-again-reveals-an-inflight-magazine