Breakbeat Heartbeat: Better, Lost (self-released, 2020)

December 18, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Breakbeat Heartbeat: Better, Lost

I’m not sure how I’ve never heard of Breakbeat Heartbeat before, but she’s been releasing albums since the late 2000s. I can’t even remember how I came across her latest album either, but it’s a melancholy but charming fusion of wistful indie-electronic and chipbreak. The 8-bit melodies and textures are there, but the songs don’t feel like they’re contained inside a tiny box with an LCD screen. There’s lush acoustic guitar melodies and a few driving pop-punk bits, a little like Anamanaguchi but mostly instrumental. Likewise, the breaks kind of creep up subtly rather than recklessly piledrive over everything. It’s just a really nice mix of delicate dynamics, pretty melodies, sad feelings, and jungle-esque breaks in a decidedly non-jungle context. The last song is even in a sort of waltz tempo and has lilting strings. Mega-lovely.

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