Warnings is a genuine masterpiece of beautiful melody, atmospheric synths, powerfully haunting vocal….. overall a compelling, bittersweet feel that leaves me desperate to see I Break Horses play live.
I Break Horses are Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck, two musicians based in Sweden. I’ve spoken with Maria briefly, finding out that, along with many other indie artists, she and Frederik have been hit hard by the lockdown. It’s clashed painfully with their album release and touring:
Maria told me: ”I’m going a bit nuts with the lockdown…not seeing anyone. Staying safe from the virus. Sanity-wise though – not so much! Hope to gig the UK as soon as we’re safe!”
I really feel for so many indie artists, who are pretty much on their own in the pandemic. Buy vinyl from them directly. It’s the easiest and most rewarding way of showing support.
Right from the outset, warm, saturated drums kick in, followed by the most beautiful synth/glockenspiel music box style riff that just melts the listener. Then Maria’s captivating vocals tell the story of a girl who’s loved by a guy, but somethings amiss, and quite frankly the girl clearly states ‘she’ll walk out on his semi-erection’. Such a beautiful song though, and at eight minutes it continues to hold our attention – so melodic, yet bitter sweet.
Maria’s vocals remain mesmerising. Imagine a much more powerful Mazzy Star; it’s that kind of atmospheric feel that sets us in daydream mode; it’s really beautiful.
‘Silence’ and ‘I’ll Be The Death Of You’ both carry awesome percussion and intricate beat, coupled with heavy synth pads, and again Maria continues to lift us up and away, attention held, with her vocals as much as the countless hooks of melody.
The synth/pipe organ chord changes and hypnotic beat of ‘The Prophet’ is just class. It builds and builds to a killer crescendo, intense detail, then the outro gives such a powerfully clear drum break with euphoric vocals.
‘I Live At Night’ is second favourite for me on this album after ‘Turn’. It’s gorgeous, haunting and slow, and with the rich, lazy bass line coming in it sounds a little like a hidden track on New Order’s ‘Low’ album. It meanders perfectly and we can drift off with it, with Maria’s vocals just melting the ears, the outro a beautiful ambient close that on headphones is just sublime.
‘Death Engine’ feels like one of those sumptuous Bladerunner Vangelis tracks, a really powerful, unrelenting track that loops the melody, so I can’t help but move to it in some way. Really gets me this one. I was so pleased listening to this album in its entirety, with no filler whatsoever.
Overall, the album ‘Warnings’ continues along a really powerful scenic feel, the perfect album to listen to somewhere beautiful, wherever your beautiful place might be. For me, lockdown over past few months has kind of forced me to get into walking; heading out along the riverside, through some woodland and sitting under a viaduct in the countryside, where listening to this album while watching horses graze as the sun sets is really something. I recommend finding your nearest viaduct and doing the same!
Photograph provided by PromoJukeBox.