The game of Jadu Heart’s ‘Derealised’
Marisol Bohorquez | Monday, February 6, 2023
I know many probably have not heard of Jadu Heart, but hopefully, that will change after their recent ”Derealisation” album. Jadu Heart is an English dream/synth-pop duo consisting of Diva-Sachy Jeffrey and Alex Headford. Their album “Derealisation” was released on Jan. 23 and I’ve already replayed it too many times to count. The album is their fourth studio album and consists of 12 tracks.
Many of the songs consist of catchy synths that continuously reappear throughout the record. Through the first track (“Glistener”), there’s a hard-hitting drum groove that complements Jeffrey’s autotune hums that slowly get crashed with bass. “Glistener” is perhaps Jadu Heart’s best opener compared to their previous albums and sets up the record’s overall theme and direction. Personally, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the album since its dreamy vocals and distorted guitar effects draw from popular shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and Lush. Cohesively, the opener’s lyrics fit the album’s themes of derealization and depression, feelings inspired by the duo’s experience during the COVID-19 lockdown.
My favorite tracks are the tracks that do sound like the duo had a sit-down with shoegaze legends and asked for the secret formula for the most ethereal beats known to man, the best of which is “I Shimmer.” This four-minute-long track is perhaps the strongest song of the whole album. It starts off with a screeching distorted guitar riff that gets drowned with drums. Then, the whiplash-inducing vocals of Jeffrey and Headford kick in. The track serves as the album’s thematic center point and defines the album’s laid-back vibe.
“Derealised” is a more mature version of Jadu Heart’s sophomore album, “Melt Away,” but I feel as though the duo has more room to grow and build their sound to be more distinct and lucid. The album lacks a bit of structure when it comes to a specific sound. It seems like the band is struggling to choose between psychedelic pop and shoegaze which leads to some sporadic and awkward transitions.
Through doing research for this review, I discovered that the duo performs in masks and performs under stage names: Dina and Faro. Similar to Sun Ra and Rammellzee, Jadu Heart uses their stage names to amplify their musical storytelling. Jeffrey and Headford have mentioned their characters represent the erratic and emotional monsters hidden within each person. Coupled with the duo’s modern lust for mystery, their stage presence showcases much of the heart and grit that is central to the band’s message.
“Derealisation,” Jadu Heart’s album is a love letter to the overwhelming sense of loneliness and anguish many of us have faced during the pandemic. The album’s push and pull between nihilism and optimism is what the album is about. This draining cycle is what makes the record so intimate to fans who struggle with mental health. Although the duo has much to work on, they’re definitely an artist to keep on your radar.
Artist: Jadu Heart
Label: VLF Records, Anchor Point Records
Favorite tracks: “Glistener,” “I Shimmer,” “The Glass Box Between Me and You”
If you like: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Lush
Shamrocks: 4 out of 5