Just last week, Swedish shoegaze act I Break Horses shared news of Warnings, their first new album in over six years, along with their doleful lead single “Death Engine.” Tuesday, they shared the next track from Warnings, “I’ll Be The Death Of You,” along with an accompanying music video directed by Douglas Hart (The Jesus and Mary Chain).
The video feels distinctly Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine (Hart has directed many videos for MBV) with intense, candy-toned color blocking and negative effects that abstract I Break Horses’ frontwoman Maria Lindén’s physical form, along with an idyllic cliffside and sea below, just so that it creates a hazy mélange of deliberate, melancholy mood. The music, in contrast, seems to mine the depths of the collective ‘80s spirit, drawing out mall-ready keys atop twinkling synth right out of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s presets.
It sounds borderline hypnagogic, which might derive from producer/mixing engineer Chris Coady’s love of slowing down recordings, which Lindén cites as the reason she chose to recruit him for Warnings, reading once in an interview that he said, “I like to slow things down. Almost every time I love the sound of something slowed down by half, but sometimes 500% you can get interesting shapes and textures.”
I Break Horses happily tout their influences, brushing against ‘80s greats like Primal Scream, Cocteau Twins or Slowdive, but the filmic wit of “I’ll Be The Death Of You” might actually be much more contemporary in its arrangement, recalling the cinema of the recent works of Chromatics. Perhaps more notably, however, is how relatively chipper the track is among I Break Horses’ gloomy catalogue.
Warnings is out via Bella Union on May 8. You can check out the video for “I’ll Be The Death Of You” below, plus I Break Horses’ 2014 Daytrotter session further down.