Released: 16th April 2012
Label: Double Six Records
Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is the new album from UK band Spiritualized. People who have already familiar with the band will know that their sound is more of an atmosphere setter rather than a straight forward set of chords. Often accompanying brass, horns, strings, windpipes (amongst others) with the standard guitar/bass/drums formula has allowed Spiritualized to create some truly wonderful soundscapes that become an absolute joy to listen to, this in turn has also helped Spiritualized become a pretty successful band.
The vast soundscapes are only utilised further on Sweet Heart, Sweet Light. Spiritualized have used the aforementioned instruments once again to create some magnificent instrumentations, ranging from the poignant Little Girl, to the atmosphere setting introduction, they use these instruments to craft many different emotions and tones into their songs.
Lead single Hey Jane is a phenomenal track that has helped Spiritualized a lot here in the UK at least. An eight minute epic that begins with a fairly anthemic guitar riff that’s rich in tone and thick with atmosphere, bringing in a surprising driving force for anyone who hasn’t heard of Spiritualized before. It’s kinda nostalgic of 90’s Britpop in the days where Blur, Oasis, Supergrass, Pulp reigned supreme with simple sounding guitar riffs packed with passion, especially with the extremely catchy “Hey Jane” vocal hooks lined up against it.
The second half of Hey Jane is a lot darker however. The constant questions repeated on and on in the first half reveal the vocalist’s obsession with Jane, how he’s become so infatuated by her that he needs to know every.single.detail of her day, what she does, where she is etc.
The instrumentation does a brilliant job of performing the initial breakdown once the singer realises that maybe the constant questioning is not a good tactic to seduce this Jane woman, or that she has told him straight up that he is not the person for her. The broken down piano flicks at the end causing the entire booming instrumentation to come to a silent halt, before quietly returning to light, this time however with the opening question “Hey Jane, when you gonna die?” that eventually gets repeated over and over reveals that the vocalist was hurt by Jane during his infatuation and is now being outspoken in his hatred for her.
It’s the perfect teenage-breakdown song, and the perfect way to get into Sweet Heart, Sweet Light, and more importantly into the rest of the Spiritualized discography.