The 80s Come Alive: Nova Heart (The Spoons)
If you were buying music in the 80s, chances are you have an album or two by Canadian New Wave groundbreakers The Spoons. With songs like ‘Arias & Symphonies’, ‘Smiling in Winter’, and our feature song, ‘Nova Heart’, The Spoons made a name for themselves as a pop outfit that could craft a clever hook, anchor it in great songwriting, and make it worthy of the dance floor at the same time. No easy feat.
The classic Spoons line up that many fans are familiar (and recorded the band’s better known albums Stick Figure Neighbourhood, Arias & Symphonies, and Talkback from 1981-1984) consisted of Gord Deppe on vocals and guitar, Sandy Horne on bass and vocals, Derrick Ross on drums and Rob Preuss on keyboards. Notable for a couple of reasons, this line up gained attention initially for Preuss’ age (he was only 15 when he joined the band in 1980) and bassist Sandy Horne, who could kick the arse of many of her male counterparts on the instrument but also looked far better doing it. Along the way The Spoons also helped in the formative years of a young Daniel Lanois, who worked as an engineer on early Spoons recordings and later went on to produce artists like U2, Bob Dylan, and Peter Gabriel, just to name a few.
1985 saw the departure of both Ross and Preuss, while Deppe and Horne continued on with new Spoons Steve Kendry on drums and Scott MacDonald on keyboards. In one of the stranger moves in Canadian 80s music history, Rob Preuss joined Honeymoon Suite, quite possibly as polar opposite a band compared to The Spoons as could be found. One can only assume he was in it for the acid wash jeans endorsement deal Suite seems to have landed at the time (at least judging by their wardrobe, anyways). The group released the album Bridges Over Borders in 1986, but with the exception of the 1988 song ‘Waterline’, The Spoons failed to match their earlier successes. With that the band took a large part of the 90s off, but towards the latter part of the decade Deppe and Horne started performing again as The Spoons, and continue to do so today (with Kendry and new keyboardist Steve Sweeney). Along the way the band made a few connections in my hometown of Stratford, having played a few shows there over the years as well as Deppe recording the song ‘Memories Get Closer’ with Brittlestar, who also call Stratford home. You can hear a teaser of the song on iTunes.
The Spoons are starting to push their newest tune, ‘You Light Up’, from the soon-to-be-released album Static in Transmission. Listen to it on YouTube, plus see the promo video. The band website is packed full of goodies, so be sure to check it out here. And from the Spoons Live In Concert DVD let’s get to ‘Nova Heart’, recorded in 1984.