ARTIST: HORSE JUMPER OF LOVE
TITLE: SO DIVINE
LABEL: RUN FOR COVER
WORDS: AMY ALBINSON
On first listen, Boston-based Horse Jumper of Love might come across as light-hearted. The softness of a lightly plucked electric guitar echoing amidst vocalist Dimitri Giannopoulos’s gentle croonings is almost reminiscent of the likes of Bright Eyes – and then it all starts to decay. Their emphasis on the mundanities of life invokes a sense of youthful fear and entrapment, all played out in the haze of their enchanting bedroom lo-fi sound.
With their sophomore record, So Divine, the trio reveal a narrative of fragmented thoughts that offers the sweetness of nostalgia within their syrupy brand of slow-rock. Released on Run for Cover, the record at times feels like an accidentally overheard conversation, gentle and all too intimate, that flits unexpectedly into teen-angst-style wailings.
“the trio reveal a narrative of fragmented thoughts that offers the sweetness of nostalgia within their syrupy brand of slow-rock”
Opener ‘Airport’ drifts quietly as Giannopoulos muses ‘I feel invisible with my clothes off’, almost hypnotically nonchalant in its approach. Sweet and repetitive a sense of confusion begins to mount in overly distorted guitars that take over the melody, spiralling into something that feels all too uncomfortable before slamming into an abrupt end. It’s an emotional poignancy the band have captured perfectly, pleasantly unpleasant and at odds with itself.
Second track ‘Volcano’ similarly opens with a slow and steady minimalist approach that evolves into a sweet, pop-punk-esque energy that winds up in the collapse of guttural sobs. This ever-changing nature makes it difficult to pigeon-hole the group within any single genre but truly showcases their own unique charm. Sitting somewhere between slow-rock, indie, lofi and emo they’re a band hard not to fall in love with after a couple listens, especially given how well they fit on Run for Cover’s roster.
“a captivating nature that Horse Jumper of Love have absolutely managed to perfecT“
The record highlight is easily centrepiece ‘Ur Real Life’, with its grunge-influenced bassline and a subtle hint of distortion at the start. Decaying and fragile the song develops with a purpose, melodically intriguing with a clear back and forth between delicate vocals interrupted unrelentingly by slow-moving, effects-laden riffs. The uncertainty of the song, and the record as a whole, creates a captivating nature that Horse Jumper of Love have absolutely managed to perfect in this latest offering.