Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade session is a group of close friends whose new collaboration is a lesson in having fun. Led by tag-team singers Sean Tillmann (Har Mar Superstar) and Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit, A Giant Dog), Heart Bones combines each members’ whip-smart songwriting and unbridled joy for performance. Though both Tillmann and Ellis are well-accustomed to all manner of musical adventure, it didn’t hurt that they spend more than a year on the road as Heart Bones before putting out their debut album. Hot Dish, released earlier this year, is as instantly likable as the people behind it. Along with bandmates Ryan Mach, Aaron Baum, and Adam Hurlburt, Heart Bones visited our studios before the Philly stop on their early March tour.

For our session, Heart Bones selected a kind of ‘bookends’ overview of their new album. Like Hot Dish, their performance begins with “This Time It’s Different,” which adeptly sets the tone for this encounter. Speaking of encounters, next is “Open Relations,” which the band described as ” ode to the trials of a one-sided open relationship.” If you’ve seen Heart Bones in concert, you might notice an extra set of vocal mics for Tillmann and Ellis; you’ll hear them in use on “I Like Your Way,” where the singers’ voices are processed to just barely within recognition, smearing the song’s pre-chorus with digital glitter. Tillman gives the vocoder even more of a workout in the closing song, “Beg For It,” which culminates in a thrilling cascade of voices and rhythms.

Listen to Heart Bones’ Indie Rock Hit Parade session below. Watch the band performing in the studio via NPR Live Sessions and be sure to check out some photos from the studio, too.

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