The Fool Hearts release debut album

Two years’ hard work shines through ‘Bittersweet Hereafter’


Valerie Benzinger

English teacher Michelle Pembroke signs The Fool Hearts’ CD, “Bittersweet Hereafter.”

English teacher David Boyle’s house is covered from floor to ceiling with quilts and blankets to block out excess noise. The microphones and amps are plugged in and recording, with black cords lining the hallway. This is the Fool Hearts’ version of a recording booth for their first-ever CD.

The members of The Fool Hearts have put all of their efforts into producing their premier album. They believe their hard work paid off tremendously when they saw the final product.

“[My favorite part is] when you hear the whole band playing a song that you wrote, and you see it come to life,” Boyle said. “It’s pretty wonderful.”

Cover songs are fun and help to get the crowd involved but I truly enjoy playing original music. Anyone can learn a cover tune but it is hard to write an original song that can turn heads.”

— art teacher Joshua Fletcher

The CD, “Bittersweet Hereafter,” is currently being sold by the band members. It is also available to be streamed on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

“We’re going to sell [the CDs] at our shows,” English teacher Michelle Pembroke said. “We’re working on getting them on other platforms. REVERB Nation is like Spotify but for amateur artists, like us. You can go on there now and look up David Boyle’s music, his solo stuff from a few years ago.”

At The Fool Hearts’ live shows, they perform a mix of cover songs and original music. Both types of music have unique processes of writing and recording.

“Cover songs are fun and help to get the crowd involved but I truly enjoy playing original music,” art teacher Joshua Fletcher said. “Anyone can learn a cover tune but it is hard to write an original song that can turn heads.”

Some of the members of The Fool Hearts have been writing music since they were young. However, writing original music is a new concept to most of the band members.

“I hadn’t written my own music until I started working with these guys,” Pembroke said. “I tried writing music in high school and it just felt very cliche, and I was always too nervous to share anything with anybody. I guess I didn’t have the confidence to really go for it until now, until seeing Mr. Boyle and the kind of great music he could write, and thinking ‘OK, I guess I could do that. I could try that out.’”

The creative process is a collaborative effort that involves all members of the band. A song typically goes through many changes before it reaches its final form.

Photo by Valerie Benzinger
English teacher David Boyle signs the CD.

“Often times, I’ll take the rough draft of the song I’ve written to the band, and the drummer does something that strikes his fancy or that he’s interested in doing with the song, or the bassist has his own take on it,” Boyle said. “When the song is actually finished, it sounds a lot different than how it did when I was just writing it sitting on the couch by myself. That’s half the fun too, seeing where the song ends up once the rest of the band gets involved.”

Due to the additional challenges that comes with creating new music, the benefits are even more rewarding than covering other artists.

“It’s very satisfying,” Boyle said. “Playing other people’s music is enjoyable, but when you focus on creating your own song and melody, it’s really deeply satisfying to do that.”

Creating their own music hasn’t come without its fair share of difficulties. However, the members are optimistic for the band’s future.

“The hardest part of the creative process is not actually creating the music, but rather the time,” Fletcher said. “We all have families and other obligations outside of our band. Once we actually get together things just click. Our creative process has always came natural with this group. That is why we have been able to do so much in just a year. I can’t wait to see what this summer brings.”