New album review: I Break Horses – Warnings
Missing since 2014’s Chiaroscuro, Maria Lindén announces her return in extravagant fashion with her third album’s opening track. Nine minutes long, it underpins breathy vocals, ethereal keyboard arpeggios and spooky mellotron with a booming hip-hop beat, but though it recalls Slowdive and Beach House – whose former producer, Chris Coady, is on board – it could be half the length and make no less an impact. The same could be said of the crystalline Death Engine, its name pointing less to its admittedly angelic soundscape than its eternally sluggish nature, encapsulated in an unnecessarily lengthy fade.
Fortunately, there’s plenty that’s more purposeful, not least The Prophet, its churchy synths, apparently woozy from communion wine, founded on rubbery bass notes and an insistent, tapping beat, and I’ll Be The Death of You, which starts like a 21st century hipster take on Pink Floyd’s Run Like Hell but proves far less paranoid. Punctuated by brief experimental sketches like a b s o l u t a m o l l p u n k t e n, which sounds like a cassette player running out of batteries, and L a r m, which climaxes with metallic, industrial scrapes – Warnings is at least worth paying attention to.