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The Heavy Hearts / Press

“This philosophy is reflected in the folk-rock trio's debut album, "Keep Your Light On," set for release May 2. Thirteen songs on the playlist -- including "Into the Fire," "Hearts to Bend" and "All Our Own" -- are meant to evoke peace and optimism, offering the listener balm for the soul. Music also provides an outlet for Lauren-Michael Sellers, 25, the band's lead singer and primary songwriter. Her experiences helped to shape the lyrics, exploring family strife, personal resilience and the power of faith. "Music is the only thing that I've ever had that allowed me to be myself, sort of a sanctuary," Sellers says. "It's one of those things that's not a choice. I can't stop it.The creative compulsion goes back to her high-school days, and prompted Sellers to enroll as a music major at Birmingham-Southern College. But with The Heavy Hearts, she's truly found her voice, collaborating with guitarist Zac Baldwin and percussionist Brian Hippensteel.”

“Because what’s going on in Birmingham these days is downright spiritual. Lauren-Michael Sellers, whose unique voice lingers in my head like an apparition, releases an album this month with her band The Heavy Hearts. That album, “Keep Your Light On,” doesn’t need a stamp of approval from Hollywood or Nashville to make it good. She is homegrown. That doesn’t mean it’s homemade.”

“Indeed, the expansive sound of “Into the Fire,” with its shifting dynamics and carpe diem lyricism, is indicative of the strengths and ambitions of the Heavy Hearts. Building from Sellers’ singer-songwriter background, the band includes the talents of lead guitarist Zac Baldwin and drummer Brian Hippensteel in the mix. Baldwin’s guitar work, influenced by Eric Clapton and a host of country artists, is soulful but spare, functioning just like another voice in the arrangement. Hippensteel’s drumming, meanwhile, is exactly as subtle as the band needs it to be, adding tension to the crescendos and gorgeous cymbal tones to more plaintive moments. The center of attention, however — and deservedly so — is Sellers, whose voice shines even on unmixed, rough tracks. As listeners can readily tell from “Into the Fire,” her voice shines on soaring falsetto notes and on bluesy, earthbound notes alike. It shines in desperate moments of passion and in moments of contemplation.”

"The only female to make it into the final four, she rocked the Barking Kudu’s outdoor stage with a soulful acoustic rendition “Nothing But The Water” that would give Grace Potter a run for her money. From there she transitioned into her song “Darling,” and lastly, her song “Would You be my Heaven.” Performers sang two songs each for the competition, and the winner was allowed an encore song. Lauren-Michael sang her song “All Our Own” for her grand finale. “Winning Bacon Jam was exhilarating and humbling. It made me love Birmingham even more. The support and kindness shown to me and the other three performers was incredible. I hope this is the beginning of something extraordinary. There are many local artists who need their voices heard,” said Sellers. After Lauren-Michael records her songs at King of the Jungle Productions, where they will be fully mastered by producers there, her album will go into regular rotation on Birmingham Mountain Radio."

"Sellers is a singer-songwriter whose strong voice oozes out sweet little melodies that you’ll want to listen to again-and-again."

"One of the best I've seen on this show...plain and simple, they are amazing"

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