The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

The Oh Hellos make Virginia headlining debut

Sibling duo to perform in Charlottesville on the heels of “Dear Wormwood”

Comprising Texas folk rock duo The Oh Hellos, Maggie and Tyler Heath are making their way to The Jefferson Nov. 3 shortly after the release of their highly anticipated new album “Dear Wormwood.” Arts & Entertainment had a chance to speak with them before their Charlottesville debut.

Arts & Entertainment: What can you tell us about your new album, “Dear Wormwood,” which draws inspiration from C.S. Lewis’ popular apologetic Christian fiction work “The Screwtape Letters?”

Maggie Heath: It kind of began as a fan fiction, but as it developed and came into fruition, it became less of a direct adaptation. In the Screwtape Letters, the central story device is writing letters from Screwtape [a demon,] to his junior tempter in the field [his Nephew Wormwood]. We took the device and changed who was writing the letters: [our album offers the perspective of] this person who is being tempted or tormented. As the album progresses, the more he is removed from the person he is in love with, the more toxicity of the relationship he can see.

A&E: Was there one band member who was particularly inspired by the novel or was it more of a collaborative work?

Tyler Heath: I wrote not all, but a good portion of the songs on “Dear Wormwood… ” I read “The Screwtape Letters” four or five times [...and] had read it again sometime right around the first tour. [However, the album] was collaborative ... When I showed [Maggie] what I had been working on, [she] had been writing stuff along the same lines … So we just decided to write together and make it a new project. It has been growing, developing and evolving for two years. It happened right after we released [2012’s “Through] The Deep, Dark Valley,” so we let it percolate and develop. At the very beginning of this year, we really buckled down in January to start writing and then in July we made the last track.

A&E: This stop on the tour closely follows the release of “Dear Wormwood.” Can you tell us about why you chose to play in Charlottesville?

TH: This is our first time to actually headline in Virginia.

MH: We’ve never played in Charlottesville, but [have done some shows at Lockn’ Fest] and FloydFest. [We also] opened for Needtobreathe in Norfolk last fall. We’re excited because in the second half [of the tour] the new album will actually be out.

A&E: What are you most excited for regarding both the new album release and for playing in Charlottesville?

TH: I’m eager to see what people think about the album. I’m particularly interested because as we were writing this album, my suspicion was that people who already knew us decided they would love us forever or hated us and decided to never listen again. [However,] this album isn’t a different direction — it’s everything we were doing before, just more so. We just expanded. We want people to connect to it, feel like it’s us and still enjoy it.

A&E: What can we expect at your show on November 3?

TH: If you haven’t come to one of our live concerts before, the show takes what’s on the record and intensifies it; the big moments on the record are just multiplied in the show. The show is energetic and enthusiastic. There’s going to be some bad jokes — a lot of climbing things.

Get your tickets early for The Oh Hellos’ Charlottesville debut Nov. 3 at The Jefferson Theater. The show begins with openers Cereus Bright and Family and Friends. Doors open at 7 p.m.


Latest Podcast

From her love of Taylor Swift to a late-night Yik Yak post, Olivia Beam describes how Swifties at U.Va. was born. In this week's episode, Olivia details the thin line Swifties at U.Va. successfully walk to share their love of Taylor Swift while also fostering an inclusive and welcoming community.