Data de lançamento
7 Maio 2020
The first two I Break Horses albums swung between the guitar-heavy shoegaze of Hearts and the shimmering synth pop of Chiaroscuro; 2020's Warnings cuts a nimble path between the two, grabs important bits from each style, and ends up as a dream pop fantasy built from swelling emotions, aching vocals, cinematic textures, and the kind of small-scale expansiveness that burrows its way through the bloodstream right to the center of the listener's heart. It took Maria Lindén almost six years to get Warnings finished due to production angst (lost hard drives, unproductive collaborations) and the quest to make an album that truly captured how she wanted her music to sound. Despite that, it feels almost effortless, gliding between echoing ballads built from fragments of decaying synth tones, sweeping modern pop that hits all the same sweet spots that the best pop of the '80s did, and dreamlike songs that can break a heart with a synth arpeggio and glitched vocal. The record starts with "Turn," a nine-minute excursion into slow-motion heartache built around a slow-motion breakbeat, doo wop chord progressions, and an enchanting vocal from Lindén. It does two things right away: sets the emotional bar very high and speaks to the artistic bravery Lindén exhibits throughout. It takes guts to put such a long and nakedly emotional song at the beginning, even more so to make it like a gateway drug that demands that the listener crawl deeper into the same sonic bunker Lindén was apparently living in when she recorded the album. The songs are cavernous and darker than an abandoned well, the drums pound like over-amplified heartbeats, the synths are set on their murkiest, most mysterious settings, and Lindén sings like she's clawing her way to the surface of a cold, lonely lake. It's not easy listening, yet Lindén makes sure that the songs have painfully sharp hooks and the arrangements are constantly shifting and full of dark surprises. She also sequences the album so that the bleakest-sounding songs (like "The Prophet") are positioned next to the brightest (by comparison) electro-pop songs (like "Neon Lights"), and the so-sad-they-are-almost-motionless ballads ("I Live at Night") are followed by glittering pop songs ("Baby You Have Travelled for Miles Without Love in Your Eyes"). Thanks to this approach, and the high level of skill Lindén uses to craft it, the album works on two levels: as a slowly unspooling testament of tear-stained melancholy and also as a meticulously crafted, inspired, and inspiring musical journey that is a joy to get lost in. While the first two I Break Horses albums were heartfelt and promising, at times it felt like Lindén was looking for her true musical voice. On Warnings she finds it and has made a modern synth pop-meets-dream pop classic that is sure to melt the frozen heart of anyone lucky enough to discover it.
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