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The Heligoats is just something that came together one winter between Chris Otepka and the band Ulysses S. Grant from Chicago. These friends got together and recorded an album, Goodness Gracious, before Otepka was to leave Chicago and go west. Maybe the move was an important anticipation for him, whose lyrics reflect a change for the better. The title track, “Goodness Gracious,” expresses his life changing transformation, with the grateful and inspiring lyrics, “I went from having hope so low, to having a surplus/I went from burning my days by, to burning daylight with a purpose.” The whole album seems to express this sentiment. The lyrics are the driving force of this music with fun word play, full of water/ocean life metaphors, references to swimming and living life outside, communing with nature. The lyrics have a good mix of humor and hope with some shadows of darkness which is what he overcomes. The inspirational lyrics are backed by acoustic-driven folk-rock that and can be energetic and upbeat as well as slow and heartfelt.
Goodness Gracious is surprising.The lyrics are fun, inspiring, grateful and gracious and well thought out. It’s nice to hear about changing for the better sometimes. Otepka can finally say “goodnight for real this time.” It'll help you sleep at night knowing he meant it.
Check out "Fish Sticks" from the Heligoats' Daytrotter session: