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I Break Horses - Hearts

I Break Horses - Hearts

by , 15 August 2011

I Break Horses make evocative music. Or, more accurately, they are a band that evoke memories. Memories of both shoegazers like Cocteau Twins and Slowdive and contemporaries like M83. There are even echoes of My Bloody Valentine.

Their music is also evocative in another way: it presents a canvas for your own memories. Hearts is an album full of songs that sound like sunrises and sunsets. The effects-heavy, hazy textured soundscapes lead your mind to wander. It makes the title of the record unerringly accurate – this album is the sound of a beating heart, the racing pulse of a first date, seeing that person you love. Like flicking through an old photo album it is stirs up memories. From the swirling pulse of ‘Winter Beats’ and its shimmering, glacial textures, to the warm organs of ‘I Kill Your Love Baby’ and the way it slowly, beautifully unfurls, the record forms hypnotic patterns.

Singer Maria Lindén's lyrics are, for the most part, obscured beneath this swirling sound so you impose your own meaning on it. Her hushed coos and softly, sweet vocals are another instrument adding a new layer to the textured sheets of electronic fuzz which cloak you in their warm embrace.

It adds up to something that connects powerfully and emotionally. It is an album of depth and colour, with songs which ebb and flow and blossom into something tender and mesmerising. ‘Cancer’ chimes with lament and loss ‘as the lights go out’, and though ‘Pulse’ is brighter - glistening and sunny - it still has that beautiful melancholy tugging at the edges.

Hearts captures that time of day when the night merges with the dawn, the colours hazy and far away, yet beautiful and warm. The time of day when you feel pangs of nostalgia for something you can’t place.

It’s a bruised, delicate and captivating record - one to connect with and one to fall in love with.

Rating: 8.5/10

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