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Justin plays guitar & sings
TB plays drums & sings



HEY LOVER | Sinking Ships
released May 2016

Hey Lover 'Tennessee'
hi res album cover
email for lyrics

HEY LOVER | Tennessee
released 2012

Hey Lover 'Tennessee'listen
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Piranha/Mother's Arms
released March 2010
album cover
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released March 2007
album coverlisten
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(Split 7")
released December 2007
heylover-cdf-split 7   listen
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Stage plot
hey lover stage plot
> click to view stage plot













Hey Lover is a Portland, Oregon USA 2-piece playing enthusiastic garage pop with hooks that are simple, concise and immediately effective with lyrics delivered by boy/girl harmony and backed by fun, strong female drumming. Hey Lover has a pop sensibility and a punk heart — not to mention an arrestingly frenetic stage presence.

Husband and wife Justin and Terah Beth formed the band almost a decade ago playing their first show on their wedding night and esteemed Portland punk label Hovercraft released their self-titled debut LP in 2007 to mass local acclaim. Their follow-up, Tennessee (Hovercraft, 2012) is a scrappy tour de force that toes the line between all-out punk primitiveness and '60s pop sophistication. For Hey Lover's 3rd album, 'Sinking Ships', the duo was joined by Tim Janchar on bass, he's also the label boss of Hovercraft. ‘Sinking Ships’ is a fearless and frenetic eleven tracks; a rip-roaring dash through loose, lo-fi aesthetics that always carries an air of endearing charm on its valiant, plucky face.

There’s just no faking the sort of unbridled exuberance that bursts forth from Portland garage-pop duo Hey Lover.

More Information:
- Need more info? email heylovermusic@gmail.com

Hey Lover - the band




I've Got A Car


Our Heads in A Hole 


OLD High-Res Photos:
click to open Hey Lover portraitclick to open Hey Lover in front of Unicorn Motelclick to open Hey Lover at Lion's Eye
Credit above photos: ©Jason Quigley.

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SOME WRITTEN Words, also called 'press' (so stuffy!)

Consequence of Sound - 'Nancy' Single + Music Video Premiere
A keen sense of romance is practically baked into Portland garage poppers Hey Lover. Husband and wife Justin and Terah Beth formed the group on their wedding night, and it’s been all Xs and Os ever since.

The band’s latest single, “Nancy”, encapsulates their charm like a heart-shaped box and makes it easy to see why they’ve become such a hit with esteemed Portland lo-fi label Hovercraft. The track combines Jonathan Richman’s lazy sense of wonder with a sweet, leisurely melody that evokes Beat Happening, or maybe a Ramones 45” played at 33 RPM. Throw some guy-girl harmonies over the chorus and — oh, be still, my heart! >>>

OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) Music
- 'Cover Stories: Hey Lover - Sinking Ships On their third full-length release, Sinking Ships, Portland garage rock trioHey Lover reached out to artist Pat Moriarity and commissioned him to design an original and interactive piece of album cover art. The final concept, inspired by the cut outs often seen at classic roadside attractions, came together over the course of three days in Astoria, Oregon, as Moriarity, his son Jack, and the band worked to create the giant life-sized painting that would eventually grace the cover of Sinking Ships. >>> read more

Goldflakepaint - Sinking Ships Premiere
While many backstories are used to add false drama or even detract from the actual substance, the tale behind Hey Lover’s inception is certainly a notable one. Formed nearly a decade ago, the now-trio has spent most of its existence as husband-wife duo Justin and Terah Beth who, get this, played their first gig on their wedding night.

Now fleshed out into a fully-functioning three-piece, with the inclusion of bass player – and label boss – Tim Janchar, the band are releasing brand new album ‘Sinking Ships’ this week, and we’re very pleased to bring you a full stream of the full album today. >>> Read more

Portland Mercury 'The Unsinkable Hey Lover'
For the past two years, Hey Lover have toiled away at their forthcoming third full-length, Sinking Ships. Listening to their music delivers the same kind of joy that comes from savoring a mouthful of Pop Rocks: It's uplifting, sweet, and a little bit explosive. Their self-titled 2007 debut ran on unbridled punk—the album begins with a scream from Terah Beth. 2011's Tennessee slowed down for more tempered, romantic garage-pop without abandoning Hey Lover's surging undercurrent of frenetic energy.>>> Read More

Willamette Week' Sinking Ships album review
Hey Lover never sounded incomplete as a duo. In fact, Hey Lover sounded like it could never be anything else. Guitarist Justin Varga and drummer Terah Beth Baltzer Varga, whose marriage and band are both about 10 years old, exploited the intimacy of their arrangement with spastic and elastic pop-punk songs that sounded like an extension of pair-bonded bliss: raw, tight, riotous and mega-fun. On Sinking Ships, the Portland band's third album, the Vargas are joined by bass player Tim Janchar, and the result is another happy union. Janchar's extra weight adds some cautious drift to Hey Lover's sharp turns, and while there's not quite as much thrilling danger in the mix, Sinking Ships is the band's most convincing demonstration of pop prowess yet. >>> Read More

Portland Mercury show write-up
Portland trio Hey Lover make power pop for fellow punks who cherish memories of gaming to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater soundtracks. They harken back to a time when some outsiders knew Portland through the game's Burnside Skatepark level, rapidly mashing the buttons to the beat of the Ramones so that a cartoon Bam Margera could do the sickest Christ Air over the bridge's rafters (this was years before games tried to mimic realistic physics). Hey Lover began as wife-and-husband duo Terah Beth Varga (vocals/drums) and Justin Varga (vocals/guitar), who have since released two full-lengths,Hey Lover (2007) and Tennessee (2011). During a break from recording, Hey Lover added Tim Janchar on bass and announced the release of a third LP, Sinking Ships. This show coincides with the video premiere for the album's brilliantly catchy second single, "Nancy," a down-tempo lo-fi pop track reminiscent of pop-punk figureheads like the Thermals and Teenage Cool Kids. CAMERON CROWELL

Hell Yeah (Spain)
Hey Lover
 es un trío proveniente de Portland, Oregon cuyo despliegue de energía en directo es tal que es casi una necesidad no incluir más personal en el escenario. La pareja de esposos más el colega de toda la vida fabrican hits de pop sucio que parecen salidos directamente de la habitación de algún fan adolescente de Husker Du, Los Replacements y todas esas bandas de SSTAlias Records que te han puesto loca la cabeza miles de veces. Vienen a presentar un nuevo LP editado en su propio sello (Hovercraft), otro conjunto de temazos para - como diría nuestro booker Manel Miros - levantar el puño, hecharse cerveza por la cabeza y pisar desconocidos.

Portland Mercury

Husband-and-wife garage-pop duo Hey Lover are bona-fide scene veterans, having formed almost a decade ago and released their self-titled debut LP in 2007 to mass local acclaim. Their follow-up, Tennessee,released on esteemed Portland punk label Hovercraft in 2011, is a scrappy tour de force that toes the line between all-out punk primitiveness and '60s pop sophistication—a dichotomy best exemplified by great, erratic single "Our Heads in a Hole," one of the most quintessential, anti-Pacific Northwest "wet season" anthems ever penned. Tonight, the group—with new bassist Tim Janchar—play their first show in Portland following a 10-day tour throughout Oregon and Washington, and are additionally celebrating the release of a new cassingle. MORGAN TROPER >>>

Weekly Volcano (Northwest Military)
There's just no faking the sort of unbridled exuberance that bursts forth from Portland punk trio Hey Lover. How awesome are these guys? The husband and wife that make up two thirds of the group played Hey Lover's first show following their own wedding. That had to have been the best wedding reception in the history of the form. With regards to their music, Hey Lover work almost exclusively in rowdy blasts of endorphin-sapping punk. The video for their song, "Piranha," displays this quality very well, in addition to their blatant disregard for their instruments' well-being, as they thrash around in a pool with their guitars and drums, shouting ecstatically about how they're gonna eat ya'. Hey Lover is the kind of band you want on your side - fighting, partying, or a combination of both.

Coast Weekend - Astoria
Hey Lover is a Portland-based band making enthusiastic, fruit-snack bedroom pop. The band’s garage-pop hooks are simple, concise and immediately effective. >>> Read More

Portland Mercury:
Show Recommendation
Tonight the married two-piece of Justin Varga and Terah Beth Baltzer Varga are raising money for their upcoming European tour the old-fashioned way: via adorable, energetic, drunk-huggy, punky pop. Their Tennessee was one of the most charming and downright fun local records released last year, and if you haven't heard it, you want to be at this show. If you have heard it, you want to be at this show, too. >>>

Tom Tom (drum) Magazine | Article/Interview on Terah Beth
Issue #7, Page 37 (click to enlarge)

Portland Mercury | Record Release Article
Whiskey and Wedding Rings, Hey Lover's Bubblegum Bomp
...This is a couple (and band) caught in the act of making music solely for the sheer joy of it, and their bond is plain for the camera to see. ... The new album is a giddy collection of raw pop, bashed out over Justin's fuzzed-out guitar (which at times gleefully squeals with feedback) and Terah Beth's speedy drumming. Justin handles much of the songwriting, which ranges from the undeniable bop of "Our Heads in a Hole" to the relatively sedate, ear-pleasing but caustic melody of "Art." >>>

Portland's Willamette Week | Hey Lover: Friday, Sept. 23
The Portland couple behind Hey Lover gets comfortable in its own sound.
...In most ways, the Hey Lover on Tennessee is the same Hey Lover as ever: a garage-rock band with a pop sensibility and a punk heart (not to mention an arrestingly frenetic stage presence). Those traits are evident on lead single “Our Heads in a Hole,” a cry against Portland winters that displays genetic Hey Lover traits such as shouted dual vocals, ebullient drum work and catchy guitar lines. But while the record features plenty of poppy, fun songs, as well as fast-and-furious tracks like “Piranha,” there are also pleasant surprises such as album sign-off “I Can Tell,” a slow dance anchored by Justin’s frail-sounding vocals and swelled by cello and horns.  >>>

Seattle's The Stranger | Show Recomendation
... Hey Lover are a Portland two-piece making enthusiastic, fruit-snack bedroom pop. I haven't seen Hey Lover live yet, but their online videos make me want to actually make a Funfetti cake and bring it down to the Comet for them. >>>

Weekly Vocano | Show Recommendation (Olympia, Tacoma)
Hey Lover is a duo so energetic that it actually seems like a necessity that more people don't share the stage with them. The husband-and-wife team makes music so remarkably ebullient and filled with a driving charge that you can breeze through their new LP, Tennessee, without batting an eye. Hey Lover's garage-pop hooks are simple, concise and immediately effective. Rarely does Hey Lover stop for a breather, but when they finally do on "Mother's Arms," it's an oddly affecting moment. The husband's lead vocals crack, and the wife comes in for backup and support. It says a lot about their relationship - all the stuff that you might not necessarily pick up from their ability to craft such bubbly garage gems. I'm expecting raucous good times when Hey Lover swings through Tacoma and Olympia.

End Hits - Portland Mercury's Music Blog
Hey Lover's New Video is Going to Cheer You Up
Here's the new video from Hey Lover, and it's going to pound a smile out of your frowny face. The Portland duo has a new 12-inch record on the way via Hovercraft Records, entitled Tennessee (you can pre-order it here) and the songs we've heard sound very good indeed. "Our Heads in a Hole" is more or less the perfect Portland summer anthem—y'know, for when Portland summer actually gets here—and the outstanding video, shot by Brett Roberts, plays with the title (actually, aren't those Hey Lover's heads coming out of holes?). But if you can resist the giddiness of the tune or the sheer joy of Hey Lover bouncing around on what looks like 82nd Avenue, then you are a stronger, deader person than I.

The Daily Vanguard - PSU's Student Paper
Portland's Hey Lover talks music, vaginas
Hey Lover is comprised of husband and wife duo Justin and Terah Beth who have spent the last five years developing a sound that is brilliant in its simplicity. With a punk ethos and an enterprising spirit, the group can run the gambit from slow, noise-filled refrains to driven, indie punk ballads. >>>

Record Reviewers are Pretentious Assholes | CD Review
Mon coup de cœur de cette année. Tellement emballé par leur garage pop tubesque que je leur ai même proposés de les aider sur leurs dates françaises. Pour résumer, un duo guitare/batterie, fille/garçon, voix mixtes et mélodies généreuses. Leurs sucreries se parent parfois de frusques noise brutales, d’accalmies folk ou dissonantes et d’accélérations punk furibardes. J’aime beaucoup leurs textes. Plume à l’aise aussi bien dans la critique acerbe de la politique de leur pays que dans la description de leur quotidien. Merde, apparemment c’est un joyeux bordel sur scène, j’ai donc hâte de les accueillir fin septembre dans cette bonne vieille ville de Metz. FAVE. >>>

Portland Mercury | Show Recommendation, 7" Review
Hey Lover tastes like a big bowl of ultra-sweetened breakfast cereal, with enough sugar to keep you amped 'til afternoon and enough weird chemicals to turn your milk a different color. Husband-and-wife team Justin Varga and Terah Beth Baltzer Varga thrash appropriately on guitar and drums, respectively, with both supplying the singing and shrieking. Their new split release with Cafeteria Dance Fever opens with the stop-and-start "Full Costume Bible Drama," which sounds like Quasi on a really fun meth bender [Is there any other kind?—Ed.], and continues with "She's the Girl for Me," a punky garage-pop gem. Their 7-inch also has Hey Lover teaming up with Cafeteria Dance Fever for a couple brief freakouts that don't sound like anything more than both bands clowning around in front of the microphone, but in general, Hey Lover's hooks are focused enough to keep their unbridled, contagious energy from veering off the rails.>>>

End Hits - Music Blog | 7" Review
A split 7 inch between Hey Lover and Cafeteria Dance Fever came out a couple months ago on Hovercraft. It’s called “On Safari With…” and it’s a six-song, 33 rpm 7 inch. Each band gets two songs a side, then teams up for a third tune at the close of each side. It’s pressed (as you can see) on clear green vinyl—and it’s a gleeful, thrashing stinkload of fun. >>>

Willamette Week | Top 10 Best New Bands 2007 Cover Story
April 2007
"...Hey Lover features dueling vocals [and], hook after hook, complete audience captivity. They're high, high, high energy...probably the best overall pop band in town right now >>>

itstoolong |Album Review
Hey Lover singen über Dinge, die mir beim Blick nach draussen befremdlich vorkommen müssen. Portland, Oregon scheint jedenfalls ein Ort zu sein, der davon reichlich haben muss. Den ontologischen Beweis liefern sie prompt hiermit. Draufgeklickt! >>>

Mainstream Isn't so Bad... Is it | Album Review
"...From Terah Beth's opening scream in She's In the City (don't forget the ear plugs) right through the end of the album, the band runs on high octane. You can feel the urgency and energy throughout the album, jam packed with punk-pop songs that hit you quick (most of the 16 tracks are around 2 minutes or less) with catchy hooks that make you want to play air guitar. Simply put, the album is A LOT of fun...the perfect opener for summer. >>>

CQFD : la communauté Culturelle (French)
song of the day "she's the girl for me"
Hey Lover c'est l'histoire d'une blonde déchaînée à la batterie et d'un brun amoureux à la guitare qui a la voix de Daniel Johnston. Ces deux-là viennent de Portland et ont décidé de transmettre leurs joyeuses déflagrations à travers le monde.

Not For Tourist - Paris - Show Review in Paris (La Mecanique Ondulatoire
Y'a pas à tortiller (à se tortiller, oui, par contre) un bon son pop-rock bien punchy, aux limites du punk balancé dans la cave du bar psyché du passage Thièré... Bah.. P... qu'est ce que ça fait du bien!
Vraiment un énorme kiff, une claque monumentale pris ce soir à la Mécanique Ondulatoire , aussi désespérément vide que s'en était rageant pour les deux talentueux, punchy et originaux groupes qui s'y produisaient.

The Oregonian | PDX Pop Festival Review
Hey Lover's garage rock wasn't complex, but after the skeletal compositions of The Blow and Braille, their hoot and holler came off like a symphony. Cracking the calm with a scream, they alternated passages of pummeling three-chord guitar and creepy whispers. Sounding at times like Grandpa Simpson, Justin Beth's vocals recalled 1950s novelty songs except when joined in ragged harmony by his wife, Tera, recalling the trashy attraction of Boss Hog or early Royal Trux. >>>

Portland Mercury | Show Recommendation + Album Review
"...In a town (and national music scene) full of bands that want you to feel their pain, or acknowledge how clever they are, Hey Lover just fuckin' brings it. This male/female duo's new self-titled CD teems with fun even when they are singing about our nation's oil war >>>

3VOOR12 Eindhoven | Live Review, Plan-2 Eindhoven, NL
(Dutch) Dan is er ook nog wat import dat zijn zegje mag doen. Het zijn muzikale vriendjes van the Sugarettes, ze komen uit Portland, Oregon, VS, en heten 'Hey Lover'. Justin Beth op gitaar, Terah Beth op drums. Een heen en weer hinkende, zich op zijn gitaar suf raggende donkere krullebol, en een schuddende vlek blonde manen boven twee tengere meisjesarmen die een drumstel van Jetje geven. Spannende rock, ruwe energieke garagepunk. Door het geweld heen hoor je eigenlijk lieve liedjes, soms geeft de gitaar er zich even aan over. Maar geluidserupties liggen op de loer. Strak, hard, vies. De samengebalde energie, de eenheid, en anderzijds de dialoog tussen de twee zijn overtuigend. De vonk vliegt over, het publiek is blij verrast.>>>

Performer Magazine | Live Review
"...Portland-based Hey Lover was the first pair to grace the stage .... tearing through songs with manic energy, barely contained by the physical constraints of a microphone and drum set. Varga tore up his finger at one point, streaking his face with blood >>>

Portland Mercury | Show Recommendation
If Mates of State were more like the White Stripes and if the White Stripes were more like the Ramones (and ABBA!) and harmonized like enthused angels, you'd have something approximating Hey Lover's pop garage wonderfulness. This lovely bit of local lovin' will make you glad you didn't die before they started making music. Yet another reason to be alive!

Willamette Week | Album Review
"...The most fun drummer in Portland is Hey Lover's Terah Beth Baltzer ... undeniably contagious ...Any chance you had of standing sternly with your arms crossed is gone. You belong to Hey Lover. And you're having fun >>>

The Oregonian | PDX Pop Festival Review
Hey Lover's garage rock wasn't complex, but after the skeletal compositions of The Blow and Braille, their hoot and holler came off like a symphony. Cracking the calm with a scream, they alternated passages of pummeling three-chord guitar and creepy whispers. Sounding at times like Grandpa Simpson, Justin Beth's vocals recalled 1950s novelty songs except when joined in ragged harmony by his wife, Tera, recalling the trashy attraction of Boss Hog or early Royal Trux. >>>

Local Cut @ WWeek | PDX Pop Review
Hey Lover is furious. The two were fantastic to watch. Before the band’s set, Justin Varga said “Sorry we’re late, we were out drinking in the van,” which elicited hesitant applause. Then Terah Beth proceeded to scream and kick the shit out of her drums. One of the highlights of the day for me, for sure.>>>

3VOOR12 Arnhem-Nijmegen | Live Review, K-13 Arnhem, NL
(Dutch) Al tijdens de soundcheck doet het uit Portland, Oregon afkomstige Hey Lover sterk denken aan een ruiger, rommeliger, versie van The Moldy Peaches of The Fiery Furnaces met lekker veel distortion. Tijdens het daadwerkelijke optreden blijkt dat daar nog een flinke dosis punk aan wordt toegevoegd. Hey Lover is een duo van een gitarist/zanger/drummer met zwarte krullen en een kleine blonde drummer/toetseniste/zangeres met een hoogwaterbroek die aanstekelijke post-punk-noise-pop maken waarbij niemand stil zou moeten kunnen blijven staan. Dit publiek bewijst het tegendeel: het twintigtal dertigplussers in de zaal is maar met moeite in beweging te krijgen. valt gezien hun geschiedenis: een kleine band met een internationaal karakter. >>>

Maximum Rock 'n' roll
Hey Lover would have been perfectly suited for Sympathy for the Record Industry. You know the sound - poppy, slightly garage-y stuff with female vocals. The stuff that a Lisa Marr from Buck and Cub might do or maybe even a more indie rock Muffs.

Portland Mercury | Show Recommendation
...the 'Craft books pop-rockers Hey Lover, a two-piece band which merges the best of old school punk and co-ed singer bands like X and the Sharp Ease.>>>




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