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I Break Horses Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £8.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Aug 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B0052M304O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,588 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Winter Beats
2. Hearts
3. Wired
4. I Kill Love, Baby!
5. Pulse
6. Cancer
7. Load Your Eyes
8. Empty Bottles
9. No Way Outro

Product Description

BBC Review

Scandinavian chill-wave (nee nu-gaze) is hardly an undersubscribed genre. It's also one that's a pain to write about, reliant for its power as it is on sonics alone. You can't hear the drowned-out words here, and sense that even if you could they're not important. So do I Break Horses stand apart from the endless torrent of Nordic sound-distorters? Just about. They offer beauty and darkness, elevation and noir, and if they're intent on eschewing personality, they pulse with plenty of presence.

The Stockholm duo - Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck - operate in unconventional manner at the coalface. Lindén writes the music, Balck the lyrics: but Linden sings them. They seem to agonise over how to keep everything blurred, foggy, pleasingly warped. Genre influences that in 20 years have gone from startling to predictable abound: MBV, Cocteaus, a dash of Mary Chain - you don't need us to recite the list. It's all treated synth-beds, echoing guitars and spurts of crashing volume. It whispers or it shouts. What then, if anything, will win Hearts a place in your heart?

Perhaps the fact that they try so hard. Despite the time-honoured formulae, there's rarely a spell where the duo aren't endeavouring to make magic. They don't always get there, but you admire the stern-faced dedication. I Kill Love, Baby! is intimate, hungry. Cancer (those titles!) begins with a hum of churchy guitars and key stabs, the ennui-laden voice pitched midway between Hope Sandoval and Elizabeth Fraser. Big drums come in: you brace yourself for a blast of Cults' Spector-esque derivations but it never quite happens. The tease is rather attractive. Winter Beats is the wasted skeleton of an upbeat MGMT hit covered in deep, paralysing snow (that's a good thing), while the title-track, segueing directly out of its looping bleeps, surges in with a lick of Vangelis before almost breaking into a bustle of Neu!. Again, it never quite does, and again there's something alluring about that blank-canvas vacancy.

No moulds are broken here, but the occasional breeze drummed up by the couple's galloping minds is in many ways cool.

--Chris Roberts

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Synthgazing 30 Nov 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I can't really disagree with the other review here. Reminded me a bit of Mazzy Star crossed with Maps, which is no bad thing. Great production and arrangements. Recommended for all fans of the synthesiser and distortion.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music For A Summer Almost Over 26 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
Swedish Duo I Break Horses (Maria Linden and Fredrik Balck) have
turned in a good set with 'Hearts', a nine track collection of
distinctive synth-pop which, an increasingly cluttered genre
notwithstanding, has enough of its own to say to deserve our attention.

There is a jumbled intensity in their vision. Mist-shrouded landscapes;
dense subterranean beats; half-heard ghostly vocals. Ms Linden's voice
is often buried so deep in the mix that the words are obscured but this
adds a satisfying sense of mystery and adventure to the proceedings.
The quasi-psychedelic noodlings of 'Wired' is a particularly good example.

Elsewhere, 'I Kill Love, Baby' demonstrates a greater capacity for restraint.
Initially barely breathing, the piece has an affecting hymn-like quality but
builds, layer-upon-layer, until Ms Linden's vocal entry gives the arrangement
clearer focus and definition. Although little more than a two-chord trick the
results are surprisingly uplifting. 'Pulse' and 'Cancer', too,continues the
journey into dream-epic territory with their near-orchestral textures.
(The latter is arguably the album's finest moment. A very beautiful moment).

Final track, 'No Way Outro' , turns its face towards the sun bringing the
project to a rousing close with a curious but powerful folsky optimism.

As another summer reaches its last burning embers 'Hearts' will find a
place in the frosts and fogs of another year's end. Autumnal music indeed.

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5.0 out of 5 stars I Heart Hearts 26 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This debut album by I Break Horses is just awesome.If you are a fan of shoegaze/dream pop i highly recommend you give it a try.I knew all the tracks from discovering the band on youtube & haven't been able to put it down since buying it
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