Allow us to introduce you to the world of I Break Horses, the nom de plume of Maria Lindn 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.
Songs were written, committed to tape, destroyed. The task of capturing the sonic density of Lindn's compositions was painstaking. Balck's lyrics constantly teasing the senses Lay your cold hand down on my hardest vein ('Cancer') are at times insular, cold to the touch. It's only when interpreted by Maria's effortless croon that a warmth is added, like the first rays of sun on a cold winters morning. A balancing act of light vs. dark that reveals a beauty within the darkness.
Perhaps one would think that the results of such endeavours would be somewhat disjointed, with the influences and experiences of 36 months being thrown into the mix, Hearts could almost come across as erratic, unfocused. Thankfully, it's quite the opposite.
Although heavily (and openly) influenced by My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Jesus & Mary Chain et al - Hearts is far from an exercise in typical shoegaze fayre. Lindn, possibly the most diminutive and unassuming person one could ever wish to meet, is transformed on record to appear 10 ft 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 albums strength and presence guided entirely by it.
Coupled with Lindn'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 meagre 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.