A Dutch guitarist and singer born on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., who grew up in Luxembourg and recently settled in Warsaw.
In 2011, he received the Fryderyk Award ( Polish Grammy, awarded by the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry) as one of the members of Très.b. The band was awarded in the Debut of the Year category for their album The Other Hand, on which Heim played guitar, and which he also co-produced. The band’s second album 40 Winks Of Courage (2012) included the track Let It Shine, sung by Heim. Even though Misia Furtak was the band’s lead singer, it was this song that promoted the record.
Très.b was a trio founded in Denmark and later based in Holland, eventually moving to Warsaw. In 2013, the band was awarded the prestigious Polityka’s Passport, and later that year announced the end of their collaboration. Olivier then moved on to launch a new project, Anthony Chorale.
Heim has been accompanied by a number of well-known musicians from the independent scene at various stages of his career. Anthony Chorale’s first album, The Eternal Now, was realized in cooperation with the cellist Karolina Rec. Thanks to such a modest line up, they managed to achieve a very intimate atmosphere in their simple compositions. The bass sounds of the cello were matched with Heim’s falsetto and acoustic guitar in a way that intensified the feeling of deep sadness and vulnerability in the songs. In Winter’s Bed the artist sung: "I will be old, older and gone/ Into dust we grow, wither and go".
Soon after the first album, the band released a 5-track EP Ambitions of the Sun, on which Rec and Heim were joined by the bassist Adam Byczkowski (Better Person, Kyst; plays in Nathalie And The Loners together with Rec), Thomas Petit (an ex-Très.b fellow) on drums, and Tobiasz Biliński (Coldair) who sung on one of the tracks. This expansion led the musicians to creating more diversified compositions, musically richer, but nevertheless remaining faithful to the melancholy ambience of songs.
The next, self-titled album by Anthony Chorale is supposed to contain more synthesizers (Rec) and pulsating, grooving bass. It is said to have been inspired by Kurt Vile, Cass McCombs, and Fleetwood Mac. The first two tracks from the album that were released, Ocean and It’s Getting Better revealed that the artist is persistently looking for new challenges. Ocean is very Beatles-esque, and rid of high-pitched vocals, while It’s Getting Better is the most complex composition by Anthony Chorale thus far – at first a little lazy, then meandering through pop, soul, post rock, to the point of bordering on dance music. Both songs succeed in marrying a laid-back performance with compositional precision.
In May 2014, Anthony Chorale underwent ‘re-staffing’, and was joined by Michał Biela (Kristen, Ścianka) and Małgorzata Penkalla (Enchanted Hunters) – musicians associated with more subtle melodic solutions rather than with a concrete, clear-cut music genre. The drums have been taken over by Igor Nikiforow (Paula i Karol, Hokei, Jerz Igor, etc.). These new decisions prove how careful Olivier Heim is in selecting the performers of his compositions, but also how well grounded he is in the Polish music scene.
In autumn 2014, Heim went back to using his original name on stage.
2012 – The Eternal Now
2013 – Ambitions of the Son EP
2014 – Anthony Chorale
Jacek Świąder, Gazeta Wyborcza, transl. Ania Micińska, May 2014