Hearts, the debut album released on August 22, 2011, by the Swedish duo of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck who make up I Break Horses,  is an embrace of recent ethereal electronics and an homage to expertly composed 80s synth pop.

Thanks to tempered, tight beats, sparkling synthesizers, and Maria Linden’s soothing, airy vocals, Hearts serves as a delicate and refined album, one which feels light as a feather.  There is an undeniable outerspacy sound to this record and yet, a seductive, slow like honey feel.  Maria’s bewitching voice melts over each track, creating a sensual and confident resonance.  Hearts is a patient album, not building to any momentous song or sound.  Each track takes its time with an enchanted, magical feel and demands the listener’s patience which is heavily rewarded as the albums closes.

The record isn’t entirely cornered into one particular vibe, as some songs, notably Winter Beats and Hearts, have a more catchy, updated pop feel while others, like Cancer and  Empty Bottles, play to the echoed, reverb, celestial sound.

Track Breakdown:

Winter Beats has a heavy 80s pop synth sound delicately utilized, creating a heavenly, lightweight feel.  Maria’s hazy vocals are balanced out by the deep, distorted bass.

Wired uses Linden’s vocals and echoed effects to help create a calming song, almost hypnotic.  The end of the track becomes distorted and twisted but in the last few seconds, finds its way back to the song’s solid arrangements, showing the best of I Break Horse‘s skills.

When & Where:

Pretty soon, traveling to outer space will be an affordable excursion.  Make sure you bring Hearts along for the ride.  However, if you can’t wait ten to twenty years, I recommend this album for a quiet reflective moment or aboard an airplane, when you can sit back and fly through clouds that are as light and weightless as this album.

Winter Beats

Wired

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