July 14, 2011

I Break Horses :: Hearts

"I break horses / Doesn't take me long / Just a few well-placed words / And their wandering hearts are gone." — Smog

It's unclear whether Stockholm band I Break Horses is named after the aforementioned Smog song or simply the metaphor of training a wild animal. What is clear is that like the Bill Callahan-penned track, the music of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck is fiercely heartbreaking. While Callahan strikes with words, this Swedish duo's weapon of choice is a dense sonic blanket of swirling keyboards and synths, thick gain-fueled guitars, and heavy crashing drums. Cutting through that wall of shoegaze-inspired sound is the beautiful singing of Lindén, whose voice often appears like a hit of sunshine in a journey deep into the darkened woods. I Break Horses' songs don't simply play, they slowly build and climb up into the stratosphere, only to come back down at the end of each track in a daze of tweaked emotions, often leaving this listener asking, "What just happened?" The group's debut, Hearts, is out August 15th via Bella Union.

I Break Horses - "Winter Beats" (from Hearts)
I Break Horses - "Hearts" (from Hearts)

Watch the gorgeously shot video for "Hearts" after the jump.

I Break Horses

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