Song Premiere: The Oh Hellos, 'Bitter Water' : All Songs Considered Sister and brother Maggie and Tyler Heath blend joy and pain in ways that ring true.

Song Premiere: The Oh Hellos, 'Bitter Water'

Bitter Water

  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Laurie Heath/Courtesy of the artist
The Oh Hellos.
Laurie Heath/Courtesy of the artist

Opposites attract in songs by siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath, who perform as the folk duo The Oh Hellos. Their instrumentation and singing are exuberant, just this side of ecstatic, even though their lyrics deal with wandering, grief and regret.

It's a testament to the Heaths that this track, "Bitter Water," can convey the pain of a lover swimming through toxic memories, though it's couched in a big, bright choral arrangement. The verses have simple harmonies that impart loneliness while supplying a bolster against it. Then the drums kick in — and a choir's joyful noise rises like a bright light on a healing heart.

The Oh Hellos' new album, Dear Wormwood, comes out Oct. 16.