At its heart, The Heligoats is Chris Otepka (vocals/guitar) and home to his wonderfully weird and diverse compositions.
His distinct vocal style has been compared by SPIN Magazine as sounding tougher than leather and just as coherent with his sincere and nasal voice.” His lyrical narratives have meanwhile been praised by NPR as “wise, wry observations on human emotions, science and the way things work. His songs are, more than anything else, the byproduct of an endlessly curious mind.”
It’s that restless and overactive spirit that has driven Otepka to establish The Heligoats as his own musical life journal (while of recent years also serving as a touring member of Clem Snide). Since 1998 it has been primarily a solo project with Otepka doing the majority of work and guests filling roles. However on Back To The Ache, The Heligoats has become an ensemble piece with a set quartet adding and trans-mutating Otepka’s compositions. The result is as times rustic alt-folk tunes that expand into loose and layered indie-rock orchestra epics as well as a psychedelic and spacey sheens on intimate singer/songwriter material.