Since Bella Union is the label owned by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde, it’s fair to say that the ex-Cocteau Twins musicians can recognise shoegazing/dreampop quality when they hear it. The latest evidence is provided by Sweden’s I Break Horses, who initially bonded over hypochondria.
Yet from the beginning – courtesy of the opening burst of ‘Winter Beats’ – I Break Horses seem like a beat-heavy version of labelmates Beach House. Listening further, though, proves they are much more than that and a better example of their ambitious approach is the way that first track segues in to the beautiful drone-heavy title song. Indeed the album drifts along like a dream from the warped invention of ‘Wired’, via the ecstacy of ‘Pulse’ and the spiritual electronica of ‘Cancer’ to blissful finale ‘No Way Outro’
Occasionally the vocals merge a little too seamlessly in to the instrumental layers but Maria Lindén otherwise disputes the notion that shoegaze vocals tend to lack emotion. I Break Horses really do prove that sharing pain can be a cathartic experience.