HTRK’s Vulnerable Immersion Into Honeyed Sadness In ‘Venus In Leo’

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HTRK | Venus In Leo | Ghostly International

Release Date: August 30th, 2019

Feature Image: Photograph by Suleyman Karaaslan

Intimacy glows with beauty – yet stings with what it means to be vulnerable. To reflect on our relationships; our youth, the ways we destroy ourselves and our subsequent rebirth. The rise and fall of emotions cradled by a loving subconscious; a honeyed melancholia in the cold light of dawn, and the shimmering warmth of dusk blooming in introspection.

Returning with their fourth album ‘Venus In Leo’ after a five year interval, electronica duo HTRK, made up of members Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang – have always sculpted deeply personal soundscapes; yet ‘Venus In Leo’ sprouts a gleaming raw personality in it’s foundation, built upon the embrace of memories and their innermost voices – an emotional traverse that stands out in a sea of calm reflection. 

You Know How To Make Me Happy’ wears its heart on its sleeve; boasting a raw enchantment as it greets listeners with a steady beat and delicate textural electronics – a gentleness that sings progression without imposition, swallowed in a lo-fi dream. Standish’s vocals bloom cherry-blossom blush; shimmering with a tinge of sadness, the deeply personal love that shines through her graceful swan-song – enveloped in a swaying beauty, a closed eye reminiscence amongst the gossamer electronic timbres.

An introduction bold in percussive timbres yet still glittering with self-assured fragility, ‘Hit Em Wit Da Hee’ sculpts a nostalgic blur of firefly city lights, wandering through a fata morgana; a shimmering mirage of the connections we’ve built, the connections that have fallen apart. Opening up amongst strangers and lovers. Sighing synths dot the track, waves amongst a delicate shore of Standish’s vocals – the lyrical nature of the dreamlike soundscape weaving within her personal, reflective tone.

New Year’s Day’ opens with a lyrical sadness, the loving guitar singing melodic post-punk; an automatic overwhelm of nostalgia in a cold light, watching the sunrise – in which everything presents itself in an emotional clarity, a cradled sleep of youth and rebirth in the swirling aftermath of the eve before. A driven vision in the steady underlying beat, moving forward with a new sense of growth as the track progresses; opening one’s eyes after a long night, a dream, bad decisions clinging within a drowsy heart, hypnotising in melancholia yet simultaneously, surprisingly uplifting.

Venus In Leo’ is like falling into oneself – an examination of ourselves and our memories, yet it allows for an openness that immerses those who listen in a dreamlike haze of nostalgia. It’s difficult to reflect on what we once knew as opposed to what we know now; yet everyone can relate, even if they choose to turn the other way – it may be daunting, but gleams with an ultimate beauty.

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Review by Jenna Dreisenstock