tremble clef

Monday, February 19, 2007

Joakim, "Lonely Hearts" (2007)

For a song ostensibly about solitude, "Lonely Hearts" is surprisingly exhilarating. Much of this is because, to my ears, the instrumentation comes together rather than falls apart in the course of the track. The record begins with a rough thudding drumbeat, in between which we hear a brief guitar line; while the effect is not exactly discordant, it's still feels strangely off-kilter and not terribly pleasant. But on the chorus, the drums are unified with faint handclaps, rounding off the beat, and the guitar gives away to a piano riff. That riff is equally limited in range -- we only ever get two notes at a time, but, because they always ascend, it feels like an uplift. The vocals, by Nicolas Ker, sound especially at the beginning like they could have come from a younger Dave Gahan, and perhaps the record is closest in spirit to early, lo-fi Depeche Mode. (Very early. Demo stages.)


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