August 12, 2022 – Manchester-based band Heart of Gold has released long-awaited debut album Beautiful Dangerous via SharpTone Records. Serving as an aural time capsule for stories new and old, the album is a testament to vocalist Michael McGough’s lived experiences, drawing inspiration from a set of notebooks spanning the past ten years, and memories that date back even further to his childhood in a small English village.
The release of Beautiful Dangerous coincides with McGough’s birthday – something that has been on the forefront of his mind since the conception of the album. “August 12th 2022 will be a forgotten birthday but a day of nervous celebration; anticipating a reaction from people I’ve never met in my entire life, and possibly will never be in the same room as,” he shares. “But despite scaring me half to death, I’ve also romanticized this moment for those 2 and half years, and fallen in love with the idea that people finally get to hear my own stories.”
“The past 2 and a bit years have led to this; enduring countless cancellations of opportunity in the form of tour offers I could have only dreamt up,” McGough says on the new album. “Living within a world of restrictions, mandates, delays, ‘not todays’ and ‘maybe next years’.. All the while, focusing on being able to finally, with my entire self submerged in anticipation, release a debut body of work that is a clear phonic display of my wandering mind, poured out onto countless pages of notebooks I’ve collected over the years. Some would live on the shelf for months untouched, only to be re-looked at with a new sense of that wonder. I think I’ve felt this way before. The words, sentences and paragraphs I’ve now bundled together at some point made me feel compelled enough to put them there in the first place.”
“Beautiful Dangerous was a title that was scrawled across several of those pages, almost always written as they are now. It was how I began looking at life and the way of living it; beautifully and dangerously. Enjoy it, and let it terrify me.”
Alongside the release, Heart Of Gold have shared a music video/visualizer for “September Sunburn”. “There’s an irony to this song,” shares McGough. “September, technically being the end of Summer, yet still getting burnt. It’s a subtle demonstration of residual pain and aching long after the cause has disappeared; you still feel it as fresh as it was when it started. The irony, though lightly brushed with a sense of narcissism, is that you slowly begin to enjoy it.”
To celebrate the release, Heart Of Gold will be hosting a live listening party and Q&A on their Instagram
. Fans can send in questions, hear stories about the creation of the album, and experience Beautiful Dangerous alongside Michael McGough on Friday, August 12 at 3pm ET / 12pm PT.
Beautiful Dangerous Tracklist
1. To The Blue
4. Bright Lights
5. There’s A Difference Between
6. Leave Just Yet
7. Something That Lasts Forever
8. September Sunburn
9. Backseat Daydream
11. Bad Habit
13. And Something That Never Ends
14. Time Spent Driving
Peppering subtle philosophical insights, midnight ponderings, and fond memories alongside layers of dreamy synths and smooth saxophone, Heart of Gold’s Michael McGough is bringing a refreshing personal spin to pop music.
As many a listener can attest, it’s no secret that the genre in which the band resides has always embraced tales of love and heartbreak. Yet, while these themes are indeed tastefully sprinkled throughout McGough’s latest work, his debut record is less about finding “the one,” and more about finding oneself in the swirling ups and downs of life’s winding roads.
It may seem odd at first to call this a coming-of-age story for an artist who’s seen outpourings of success both on his own as well as with popular post-hardcore group, Being As An Ocean. However, his new album Beautiful Dangerous is a rebirth of sorts for the singer-songwriter.
Traveling to tap the talents of friend, producer, and studio owner, Phil Gornell, McGough routinely left his San Diego home around sunrise and made the five-to-six-hour drive to a small studio not too far from Burbank, Los Angeles. After several weeks, and with vocals and guitar completed, he and the music made their way back to Gronell’s iconic Steel City Studios in Sheffield. It was here in England that drums and percussion were tracked, engineered, and sent to Gornell in LA before circling back to Manchester for mastering. Distance was even bridged virtually as the team collaborated with Black Peaks’ Will Gardner over Zoom to add an extra dash of glittering artistry and the bright brassy flair of a saxophone solo or two.
Serving as a touchstone for the album as a whole, McGough’s constant commute and the resulting miles of worldly reflection are reminders to appreciate all the highs, lows, excitement, and adventure life throws one’s way. The metaphor has infused itself deep into the very bones of Beautiful Dangerous, and the album whisks listeners away to a nostalgic sunset trip down memory lane, immersed in vibrant melodies as soft neon lights glow in the rear view. An exploration of self, nestled within the verses and foot-tapping beats of pop music. Heart of Gold in a nutshell.