The Oh Hellos: Notos (EP)

What makes siblings Brandon and Maggie Heath stand out from the rest of the banjo plucking, gang-singing, indie folk crowd? First, there’s the expert musicianship, a welcome respite in a genre that sometimes sounds like a junior high pick-up orchestra. The production is tight; the fiddle sings, and twin acoustic guitars shimmer in harmony on “Torches.” Second, thoughtful lyrics. Fans of Mark Heard, Rich Mullins, and Andrew Peterson will find much to love here. “On the Mountains Tall” contemplates the paradoxical combination of intimacy and awe that Elijah experienced in 1 Kings 19. “I know You want me to be afraid. I know You want me to love You.” “Torches” explores the way we burn each other with our words. “Constellations” cautions us not to be overconfident in human knowledge. The title track, “Notos,” takes its title from the Greek name for the wind of late summer and early Autumn, which brought storms, but also life-giving rain out of the Mediterranean to the dry Grecian lands. Companion piece “New River” is a glorious jig providing solace in weathering life’s storms: “The river takes her shape from every tempest she abides.” This EP is biblically literate, poetically eloquent, and
musically mesmerizing.

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