I Break Horses – Hearts review

I Break Horses: Dream Pop Duo

The Swedish duo of Maria Lindén and Fredrick Balck join to make I Break Horses. Their name is taken from a song by Smog, and their sound is taken straight from a basement – the sort of homemade electronic noise popularized by Owl City.

I Break Horses imitates the sound, but are able to leave the high-pitched, bubbly part behind creating something that is darker and far more intriguing. The first two tracks (Winter Beats and Hearts) start out with same soothing and uplifting cloud of electronica, the core being a repetitive chord flowing endlessly throughout the track. In fact the tracks combine when listened to back to back to make one long, computerized ballad.

Hearts is filled with a steady synth arpeggio, delivering the listener into a divine dream state of confusion and ecstasy.
Wired is the album’s standout, sounding like a remix of Vampire Weekend. It’s mostly a warp of several different instruments and homemade electric beats, followed by unexpected and confusing pitch changes within the last minute.

We do get the opportunity to hear Maria Lindén’s soft, airy voice (virtually absent or discreet throughout the entire album) on Wired, Pulse, and I Kill Your Love, Baby. I Kill Your Love, Baby begins completely silent for the first minute and a half until a quiet, MGMT chord in the style of Time To Pretend begins to play in the background. We only hear Lindén’s soft soprano lazily repeating “Do you know,” until the song comes to an unsatisfying end. The track is stunningly reminiscent of the song Don’t Fear, by The Honey Trees.

Hearts serves as an album filled with synthesized hums, sharp electronic arpeggio’s, and dreamy vocals. If the OC was still being aired, this album would be on the soundtrack outlining any events of intense emotion felt by the characters.

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