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About H.C. McEntire

Blessed with a perfect country voice and the uncompromising determination of a punk rocker, H.C. McEntire (also known as Heather McEntire) is best known as a member of the bands Mount Moriah and Bellafea, as well as for her work as a solo artist. Heather Cecelia McEntire was born in rural North Carolina on September 13, 1981. McEntire was raised in a farming community, and her parents were evangelical Christians who worked as part of Billy Graham's television ministry. McEntire grew up on a musical diet of gospel music, bluegrass, and Christian country music. It wasn't until McEntire went away to college (where she studied creative writing and women's studies) that she felt free enough to accept herself as a lesbian and step away from her Christian upbringing. She also worked at the college radio station, where she embraced punk rock.

By the early 2000s, McEntire had learned to play guitar and co-founded the indie rock band Bellafea; the group released an EP, Family Tree, in 2005, and they struck a deal with Southern Records, who issued the LP Cavalcade in 2008. In 2010, McEntire looked back to the country and gospel sounds of her youth as she formed the group Mount Moriah with Horseback guitarist Jenks Miller. Playing music that viewed the sounds of the American South through a prism of indie rock, Mount Moriah issued a debut EP, The Letting Go, in 2010, with their first full-length album, Mount Moriah, following in 2011. The duo signed with the respected indie label Merge Records, and issued their second album, Miracle Temple, in 2013. During their downtime from Mount Moriah, McEntire and Miller made music with their side project Un Deux Trois, and she toured as part of Angel Olsen's backing band.

After Mount Moriah dropped their third album, How to Dance, in 2016, McEntire found herself struggling with depression and felt at loose ends with her bandmates. While working on a project for Girls Rock -- a group that uses music programs to empower girls, women, and people of marginalized genders -- McEntire met Kathleen Hanna, founder of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and the Julie Ruin. Hanna urged McEntire to record a solo project, and helped her sort through the songs she considered for the album. In February 2018, Merge released McEntire's solo debut, which was titled Lionheart and credited to H.C. McEntire. ~ Mark Deming

North Carolina
13 Sep 1981

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