I Break Horses have shape-shifted a fair bit over the course of their three albums, albeit without ever moving too far from the lush synthesized dream-pop at their core. And while I’ve been with them through it all, I still go back to their 2011 debut Hearts the most – it being the lushest and ‘gaziest of their oeuvre. The opening arpeggios of lead track “Winter Beats” remains a musical happy place.
Maria Linden discussed the genesis of the track with Clash way back in 2011:
“I wrote this track out of frustration in Poland. I was there to record the album in a studio and that whole experience wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for. It seemed like a great idea at the time though! And I suppose that even though I pretty much scrapped everything I recorded there, once I came home, some good did come out of it, and that was this song.”– Maria Linden to Clash
“I found a really nice Russian syntheziser there and started playing the arpeggio chord that the song is built on, tested the engineer’s patience by asking him to record me while holding that one chord for about 6 minutes haha. I ended up liking it so much I made it the album opener.”
The promotional roll-out for the record yielded both an official kaleidoscopic video, and an at-home multi-cam “no faces, please” live performance clip, with a different enough arrangement to offer a whole new dimension to the song.