Within our chests, there is a glow. Sometimes it’s soft, barely visible. In other moments, it’s blinding. We move through each day following the circadian patterns flowing through our veins, hoping the sun continues to rise as small moments intertwine to create a lithe tapestry around our hearts. Jadelain’s Pumping a Contrarian Heart celebrates those small spaces and moves with a heartbeat-like cadence. These songs are filled with catchy, crystalline melodies and energetic arrangements that flit between fourth-world whimsy and pop infectiousness, all wrapped in the stunning cover by Filip Olszewski.
Endless arpeggios weaving through hanging vines on the beguiling opener, “Daphne Loves Darby.” Celesta rhythms chart out an anxious haze over skittering guitars, sailing ahead on a gentle jetstream. There’s a quiet joy in each note. Jadelain makes music that is simultaneously organic and pristine. Familiar melodies take on different shapes, built with futuristic timbres laced through surprising song structures that create a different kind of landscape.
“Contrarian Heart 1” is a glass waterfall surrounded by vibrant flora in atypical hues. We hang blissfully in a platinum hammock, nudged along by the aqueous sonic ripples to a place where we can’t help but feel enchanted and alive. The feeling continues to grow on “Contrarian Heart 2,” sending us gliding over transparent rivers like a pebble skipping gleefully toward the other side with no thought of plummeting into the icy depths. Magic lives here in all forms.
Robotic precision never feels sterile across Pumping a Contrarian Heart. The rapid fire MIDI plucks throughout dance in layers, choreographed with the fluttering leaves and majestic starling flocks. “1950” is rife with anticipation, the longing strewn across the arrangement like dandelion fluff after a brisk spring wind, the after-storm freshness punctuated by incisive rhythms and bubbling leads. Every moment of Pumping a Contrarian Heart is alive with purpose and hope is ubiquitous. Jadelain has built a quixotic sound world I never want to leave.