The music of The Good Hearts is an intoxicating blend of folk, pop and soul that sounds both steeped in tradition and refreshingly new. At front and center are the powerful songs, guitar and lead vocals of Nicole Springer, formerly of the much beloved Clementines, accompanied by cellist Anna Cook, violinist Shannon O'Shea and Aaron Derington on drums. The collaborative arrangements on the brand-new, Lennon Bone-produced EP, A Beginner's Guide to the Good Hearts, will leave you wanting more. We are fortunate to share an interview with Springer about this new project. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourselves. Where do you live and work?
My name is Nicole and I am the singer-songwriter and guitarist of The Good Hearts. Anna Cook is our cellist, Shannon O'Shea our violinist. and Aaron Derington is our percussionist. I work as a loan processor, Shannon is business to business consultant, and Aaron and Shannon both teach music. Aaron and I are in Kansas City and Shannon and Anna both live in Overland Park.
Talk about the recording of your new EP “A Beginner's Guide to The Good Hearts.” What was that process like? Where was it recorded and who was involved?
Our EP was recorded at Element Recording Studios Kansas City by Lennon Bone. It was mixed and mastered by our very own Aaron Derington. I always had it in my mind that we would record an EP but after we were booked to play the Smoky Hill River Fest in Salinas, KS, it became a top priority. We put a lot of heart and time into the arrangement and recording of these songs. I am very proud of this record.
Shed some light on the origins of The Good Hearts. Why did you choose to start a new band in light of your success with The Clementines?
I have always wanted to sing and write songs with strings so I focused my sight on finding like minded people to form The Good Hearts. Once I found my place in this group, I knew it was time to devote myself to it fully, mainly because it made me very happy. This band was the next chapter for me.
How does the songwriting get done in The Good Hearts? Who brings what to the table?
I (Nicole) wrote all of the songs but the arrangements are very much a collaboration from all of us. We all put little pieces of ourselves into what we put together for each song and I think that’s what makes our sound interesting. Each song is all of us.
What inspires you about music and art in Kansas City?
The music and art in Kansas City are truly special. This city is overflowing with heart and passion and a large part of that is in the music that is made by the people here. We are always inspired to be a part of it.
Nicole's book,film and music recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Little Girl Blue: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Janis Joplin
Brazil -- Directed by Terry Gilliam
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
Piece of My Heart: A Portrait of Janis Joplin by David Dalton
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Seasons 1-5
Whatever and Ever, Amen by Ben Folds Five
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Directed by Charlie Kaufman.
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes