Lazy Heart Celebrates Stunning Debut Release

Engaging Indie Pop trio Lazy Heart celebrates its debut EP release, Cincinnati's music scene loses a remarkable player and Josh Eagle plays one more show before relocating to New York

Jan 20, 2016 at 10:48 am

Remarkable Cincinnati trio Lazy Heart came together in its current state in 2014, after singer/guitarist Stephen Patota (also of The Happy Maladies) and drummer Ben Sloan (who tours the world with popular locally based group Why?) welcomed bassist/cellist/singer Josh Fink (formerly of Zamin) into the fold. Sloan and Patota had played together for several years and written a lot of material, but Fink is said to have brought everything more into focus, resulting in the threesome’s phenomenal first EP (a self-titled affair featuring production assistance from Why?’s Yoni Wolf and ex-Pomegranates member Isaac Karns). 

The chemistry is wildly evident on the recording, which, though only five tracks long, is mesmerizing and more commanding of the listener’s attention than most full-lengths you’ll hear. The rhythms and guitar parts are creative and shape-shifting, yet never distractingly so; even when progressively twisting and turning like an adventurous Post Punk or Post Rock band, or bursting with subtle discordance, the music has a distinctive fluidity. A host of guest musicians — including members of The Happy Maladies, Why? and others — provide horns, flute, strings and a bevy of other instruments that greatly contribute to the textural soundscapes’ strange beauty. The sublime vocals and fluttering, flickering melodies tie everything together to create a ingenious type of Dream Pop that is instantly endearing and memorable. It’s both bewildering and exciting that any band is able to release something as rich and fully realized as Lazy Heart’s EP on its very first effort. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. 

Lazy Heart has been on the road serving as the backing band for Naytronix, the solo project of tUnE-yArDs’ Nate Brenner. The trio approached Brenner about backing him at a show in Cincinnati last year and it went so well, they started booking more dates. On Facebook, Brenner said he found it difficult to go back to just playing solo, writing of extending the collaboration, “Some people spend their whole lives searching for a pocket that deep, and I didn’t want to wake up 40 years from now remembering the groove that got away.” More dates are planned for this spring.

Lazy Heart releases its new EP in conjunction with a show this Sunday at the Ice Cream Factory space (2133 Central Ave., Brighton). Naytronix and locals

Super Origami are also on the bill for the 9 p.m. all-ages show. Admission is $6. Find more about Lazy Heart at


Ken “Big Bamn” Smith

Drummer Ken Smith — better known professionally as Big Bamn — died on Jan. 12 after he and his wife, Shawntay (who was injured, but survived), were involved in a wreck on I-75. Smith was a member of Freekbass and the Bump Assembly, which recently released its debut album for the Ropeadope label, Cincinnati. Bamn also played with local artists like Bootsy Collins and Kelly Richey, and was wrapping up his first solo album (which his friends will now work to finish and release) at the time of his death. He was 30 years old. 

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to assist Bamn’s family as Shawntay recovers from her injuries, as well as help with education expenses for his children. Visit to donate. You can also make donations at any Fifth Third Bank branch; just ask to donate to the

Family of Big Bamn Fund. Local artists are also planning to hold future fundraisers. 

Services for Bamn are scheduled for Saturday at Crossroads Church (3500 Madison Road, Oakley). The visitation begins at 1:30 p.m., with a memorial service at 2 p.m. 

Josh Eagle Says Farewell

Great local singer/songwriter Josh Eagle and his partner

Jacqueline Hull are moving to New York City in a few weeks. But before they go, they’ll be hosting one final local show. The farewell event goes down Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, The Mitchells will open and Eagle and Hull will be performing with a band that includes

Mark Becknell, Jeremy Smart, Matt McCormick and Joe Mitchell. 

Visit the blogs at this week for an interview with Eagle about the move. 

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]