‘Hearts Ajar’ begins with a nicely fiddly guitar riff that belies the more placid shape the song will take further in. It’s soon grounded by a precise vocal and gently booming drum, quietly joined by further layers of guitars that change from synthetic to simple with the song’s turn from verse to chorus. It presents a lovely rounded sound that gives the feeling of home.
As the song reaches its crescendo the guitars’ notes take on a rustic tinge and bellow out to form a charged background for the vocal’s crooning reassurances. They frenzy themselves into a chorusing finish before we are shown the door by a briefly stuttering drum.
While the track is received smoothly the video accompanying it is jarring in its eclectic and kaleidoscopic treatment; it is a cacophony of images – though not displeasing. You may find yourself forgetting to listen to the song as you try to string together the seemingly schizophrenic presentation of images but if you can you will find reassurance and clues, in the lyrics, that there is an underlying direction to all of this.
The juxtaposition of vintage like film clips against 8-bit animation is not only intriguing but charming, while the mathematical allusions suggest a greater philosophy at play. There is also a narrative on failure and sport to be found but by the end we’re able to share in the little 8-bit man’s victory, standing a winner on the podium, leaving little smiles on all our faces.