Tracks:

  1. Hearts In Trouble (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman/Allan Rissik/PJ Powers) [4.45]
  2. Someone Like Me (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [4.06]
  3. Wish I Could Have Loved You More (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman/Lionel Bastos) [3.29]
  4. Insensitive (Anne Loree) [4.05]
  5. You Don't Call Me Baby Anymore (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [3.53]
  6. The Heart Of The Matter (Don Henley/JD Souther/Mike Campbell) [5.07]
  7. Millionaire (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [3.39]
  8. Love Letter (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [3.40]
  9. Free To Run (Dennis East) [3.35]
  10. Lights Are On But No One's Home (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [4.22]
  11. Naughty But It's Nice (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [3.42]
  12. The Love You Made (tribute to John Lennon) (Debbi Lonmon/Jenni Lonman) [3.19]

Musicians:

  • Jenni Lonmon: vocals, guitar
  • Debbi Lonmon: guitar, vocals
  • Marc Bentel: keyboards, keyboard programming, vocals 

  • Dennis East: additional keyboard programming
  • Jethro Butow: guitar
  • Myles Shannon: guitar
  • Danny Anthill: keyboards
  • Romeo Avelino: percussion
  • Paul Greef
  • Wally Cullis: drums
  • Les Goode: bass
  • Mike Slavin: guitar
  • Graeme Chart: percussion

    Produced by Dennis East
    Engineered by Lance Langley

     

    Press Release:

    DebbiThey were every teenage girl's dream come true. On stage. In the spotlight. Featured in magazines. Interviewed on televison. Famous. The latest clothes. The cutest boys.... Rocking 'n rolling their way around the country. But Little Sister, like their fans, have grown up. They're still singers, still in the spotlight, only now there's a maturity and a sensitivity to their music that will touch your heart. 

    With a powerful newly-released album, 'Heart of the Matter', lead guitarist Debbi Lonmon talks to us about the song writing process and the experiences that have influenced Little Sister's music along the way.

    After years on the road and thousands of live shows, Little Sister know who they are in the minds of all the fans who've supported them through three albums and countless hit singles. "No way will we desert them or leave them behind," explains lead guitarist Debbi Lonmon. "But then of course, they've grown up with us and their tastes have changed, too." The new album, 'Heart of the Matter' is, she says, an emotional encyclopedia - kind of like life itself. 

    Heart of the Matter - inside coverBecause being famous doesn't give you immunity from the typical trials of everyday life and dark-haired Debbi and her sister Jenni, Little Sister's powerhouse blond lead vocalist, have experienced their own share of disappointments and heartbreak along the way. And it's all reflected in 'Heart of the Matter', with 12 great songs - 10 of them original - taking the listener on a roller coaster ride through the bad times - and the good." The album certainly contains material that will be instantly recognizable as Little Sister - some tracks are straight out of the old mold, Debbi says. But many of the things we write about now lend themselves to softer interpretations. We're really fortunate that we have three strong markets - people who buy our records, people who listen to our music, and people who come to our shows. We see the new album as paying back all those fans for their loyalty and giving them fresh new songs to enjoy. And we really believe that anyone who's never given our music a listen before will be in for a pleasant surprise, too."

    The song writing process, admits Debbi, is a therapeutic one. If you're a songwriter, you don't just suffer - or enjoy, for that matter - you write about it. And it's those real experiences that will strike a chord with listeners of all ages. "Songs are my way of getting to understand life and of communicating with other people, with myself, with everything around me - real, spiritual or even imaginary."

    "On 'Heart of the Matter' I've worked as closely as ever with Jenni and our keyboard player, Marc Bentel. 'Wish I could have loved you more' , was written with Lionel Bastos and there are collaborations on one or two other songs as well. There are only two covers, plus one song written by our producer, Dennis East. You could say that 'Heart of the Matter' is a record of the growing up of "Little Sister." 

    JenniFor the song writing process itself, there is no set formula. "But we have different angles, Debbi explains. I often give Jenni the gist of a melody, just the beginning, and she develops it. Each of us is very happy in our creative relationship. I don't want to be the lead vocalist - I'm happy to leave that to Jenni and she often develops our songs from that perspective. I love singing
    harmonies and that awareness of the importance of harmony adds another dimension to our work."

    'Wish I could have loved you more', the first single from the new album, was a collaboration with Lionel Bastos based on a line from the movie JFK where the Kevin Costner character is so obsessed with pursuing his own career that his relationship with his wife and family disintegrates. In one really poignant scene, he says to her: 'I wish I could have loved you more.' 
    "I understand that feeling. Lionel understood it, too, when he suggested we write a song around it. I think a lot of people who are committed to careers in music understand it." 

    Little Sister"I wish I had more time for people and relationships. I wish I wasn't scared to commit to relationships because of what it might do to my career, so, in that respect, it's a musician's song. Lionel and I worked out the beginning and then, some time later, Jenni and I were on tour in a hotel room and we actually only had four lines, but the mood we were in was the mood that came through in the lyrics. We finished it off in half an hour."

    "It's a strong song, up-tempo. It's not a song of lost love, it just says: 'Look, I'm truly sorry about this'. It's so true that it gets me every time we play its."

    Another powerful number off the album, currently climbing the 5FM national charts is 'Someone like me', another collaborative track based on an idea from Marc Bentel.

    Says Debbi, "It's a rock song reminiscent of earlier Little Sister. It's a happy song but it's about the disbelief you get that someone you adore feels the same way about you. It's how I'd feel is Richard Gere asked me on a second date!"

    "Then there are the songs that just happen. 'Love letters' was like that. I wrote it in 10 minutes. I just picked up the guitar and there it was waiting for me! I love getting letters - so much so, that I write them to myself! I really do. I even post them, but I don't open them unless I really feel the need to do so. I got the idea from a book on Creative Realizations by Sark. She says 'Write yourself a love letter.' The song is really just about a special relationship and how great it is to write a letter, get a letter from someone you love. When I'd done the song, Jenni and Marc got involved and fine-tuned it a bit and since Jenni's absolutely brilliant with languages we came up with a middle eight that's in Spanish! It's a happy song." 

    One of the sadder songs on the album is 'Lights are on but no one's home' , an emotion-filled number made even more poignant by Jenni's husky interpretation. 

    Little Sister"Now you're staring into my soul", says Debbi of this track. Every line you hear is true. I had crashed my car - twice. We were going through problems with the band. It was in those days of huge political turbulence when no-one was going out and gigs were scarce. We took smaller gigs for less money just so that we could keep on working and some of them were horrific - they didn't even give you a glass of water. Our phones were cut off. At one terrible gig Jenni and I had a fight, then Marc and Jenni had a fight and we were all ready to quit." "Next day Marc phoned and said he'd got a song. We didn't want to hear it, but when we did it just broke us up. Again, we managed to turn negativity into something creative and positive. "Out of all the songs on the album, though, there's one of which Debbi is particularly proud. 'The love you made' is Debbi's tribute to her hero, John Lennon.

    "As a songwriter, he's the pinnacle of genius, she says. His lyrics and hooklines are brilliant, uncopiable. I can't tell you how often I've turned to him for inspiration." 

    For the future, Little Sister aim to keep right on singing, sharing, loving, and learning - turning fleeting pieces of thought and emotion into the often catchy, sometimes heartfelt songs that have earned them their rightful place as a major musical force in South Africa.