Another slice of ravishing dream pop from Brayden Jae, transposing soaring guitar fuzz over liquid washes of synths. It starts off clean and glistening, with the keys coming on all 10CC circa I’m Not In Love, but grit is gradually added to the mix to cloud everything in a grainy fug. Things seem to move inexorably from euphoria to melancholy, an emotional state emphasised by the title, as well as the plangent guitar lines that pluck at the heartstrings like some old New Order track (maybe Low Life’s Elegia).The second half is saturated and thick, like some tropical rainstorm, oppressive and soaking. But the drones and noise clear for the final minute or so and we’re left with some simple keyboard melodies winding through the space, a garden after the rain, replenished and ready for rebirth.
Ryan M Hall, who runs Heligator, has this to say about the release:
“[Heart Refuge] is a fitting piece of music for Heligator’s mission. At my time at the Refugee Camp in Swaziland, Africa I saw a lot of pain. Entire generations wiped out by war and genocide. Family members still in conflict-ridden areas. The constant feeling of displacement. But also, like this track, I saw the resiliency and hope that make the heart the strongest muscle in the body. New lives and loves despite deep emotional (and often) physical scarring.”