European pop has always had a knack for sounding a little bit cooler than the rest of us. Whether it be Underworld or Two Door Cinema Club, there must be something in their water– everything has an extra layer of suave. Leeds residing foursome Deadwall is no exception. Since 2012, the group has delivered shoegaze pop, equally melancholic like The Smiths and sarcastically upbeat like Depeche Mode.
Their latest, “Heartlands,” reads like a strung out Spaghetti Western love ballad. It’s got a driving guitar line, akin to the racing heartbeat they sing of, with a quick switch to the major key in the chorus, a symbol of hope and resolution. “Heartlands” almost plays a trick on us, leading us to believe only darkness lies ahead, but they tease our ears with optimism via catchy melodies.
The band had a moment to comment on the song itself.
Named after a climate change denial lobby group, this is my attempt to put Naomi Klein’s research into a few short, snappy phrases. It’s not the sexiest of lyrical themes, so it’s intentionally vague. The ‘you and me’ are the two warring sides mentioned above. There’s obviously a correlation between neo-con, Christian right, individualism and climate change denial. So that’s one side, which is repeated over the record.
Deadwall is currently touring England. Listen to their charming cover of Neil Young’s “Philadelphia” here.