I Break Horses, the nom de plume of Maria Lindén and her musical partner Fredrik Balck. Residing in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, the duo have quietly been crafting the nine tracks that make up debut album Hearts throughout stolen moments gathered up over the past three years. Already gathering early tastemaker media praise from Pitchfork, Stereogum and Under The Radar - there has been a sudden thrust of excitement on this band.
Although heavily (and openly) influenced by My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Jesus & Mary Chain et al. - Hearts is far from an exercise in typical shoegaze fare. Lindén, possibly the most diminutive and unassuming person one could ever wish to meet, is transformed on record to appear 10 feet tall - a shit kicker in high-fidelity. And, perhaps where contemporaries would hypnotize the listener into their world by sheer volume alone, I Break Horses lock firmly onto the very thing that makes each and every one of us 'tick'. Our pulse. Our Hearts. The common thread that links the nine songs together; always present, always beating - the album's strength and presence guided entirely by it.
Coupled with Lindén's vocal, a gorgeous Scandinavian croon that's bathed in an ocean of reverb and tremelo, Hearts is quite the sonic experience. It can't be cast aside via a few meager adjectives or genre classifications; you have to live it, live inside it. It will soak you up, embrace you and give back what you put in and so much more.
Welcome to the most bewitching debut of the year.
- 1. Winter Beats
- 2. Hearts
- 3. Wired
- 4. I Kill Your Love, Baby!
- 5. Pulse
- 6. Cancer
- 7. Load Your Eyes
- 8. Empty Bottles
- 9. No Way Outtro
- I Break Horses Chiaroscuro (Bella Union/PIAS America)