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Natural Part

by Horse Jumper of Love

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

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1.
Snakeskin 02:57
I can’t control the urge to keep healing myself through you. The perfect joy. The substitute has long devotion (devotion) All of this gold and ash. Father is wearing snakeskin. Cult Icon dies, security collapses from under you. The governor gives us a gift: The ending of this world. King of the wasteland mart, I got but one question before we part. Which arrow hits its mark? And does it fly for good now?
2.
I ding-dong ditched your house. How did I get here? Uninspired and pedestrian, Chaotic neutral in a calm lake. And it feels the worst, Crawling out of anything. Doesn’t it feel rehearsed? Security, Security. Destroyers of my body- I’ll save it till my next life. In the automatic world Imbibe what you ought to. Who’s the best venom eater? Drifts towards death or adulthood. Disrupt the perfect order, A secret green only you and I know.
3.
I poured sugar in your shoes so I could follow a trail of sweetness. I was driving to your house with all the windows down and the heat blasting. You said those are old truths, this is a new truth and we like it better that way. But I’m an idiot collapsing in the street again. I pushed myself too far. What do I do? I got my spirit hooked on a fishline baited with no reason why. Tie me to the bed but I want to sleep instead if that’s all good with you. I heard applause coming in from the streets cus that’s what people do when it feels true. But I’m an idiot collapsing in your arms again I pushed myself too far. What do I do? I got my spirit hooked on a fishline baited with no reason why. I poured sugar in your shoes.
4.
The natural part in your hair before you comb. Eye socket into eye socket - bone on bone. Exclusively tentacle porn. The sweat on the back mist onto the face, And my trash is on the floor all over the place. I got drunk and read The People’s History Added a Karl Marx museum to a list of places I’d want to see. Deciding that romance does not exist with you Was so romantic to me. And this is the problem I decided to have You cut the split ends off my hair And threw them out in a plastic bag.
5.
If I go under the house what will I find? A family of skunks. Gathered ‘round Some garbage for lunch. Take the things that I don’t want. Does it make sense? Does it matter? Will evil always win? No, just look at that Family of pigs. Rolling ‘round, They’re so happy. Why can’t I, why can’t I be?
6.
Oh, I didn’t know that you were watching, Always searching for the angels Coming down from the rafters And the audience roars Like you expected Then sudden silence and Discomfort but Look through the windows All these things they're Glowing for you and When you buy them You feel happy for a sec. Sitting on the porch at night I think of all the things I got I think of all the food I threw away And when I die I’ll learn Motion from a shadow and When I’m born I’ll feel the wind Blow through the holes in my jeans. It’s ok I don’t have work today I still got no time to play. Sitting on the porch at night I watch the cars drive by With their back seats full of balloons And I thought wow they must be Having so much fun And without me How can I join them? How can I please them? Sitting on the porch at night I saw the archer fall Down from the tower and Slam. Sitting on the porch at night I shine you with my flashlight Our own personal spotlight Sitting on the porch at night.
7.
Chariots 03:28
All these chariots where the horses lay dead Mm and a fist where $30 should have been. I was waiting for Something to hold. Thought I heard a bird call. The regional decade The lilies grow like weeds here But I love it when you make the bed, The way you come out from underneath. We got food for life We got trail of slug Hot sand to soothe my cold feet Your grandma had such young teeth. Wait, no Cross over him again Or he might never grow. Devil sits in the window, Water smacks on the floor below. I wish that he would call me over To feel the weight down at the end of his bed.
8.
I put a crown on you And your face was glowing And your eyes were so blue I put a crown on you I put a crown on you And you shed a glazey tear And the angles broke through The ceiling with their horns. I put a crown on you. I put a crown on you When they told me not to And they said I was a fool I even stuck it on with glue I put a crown on you I put a crown on you.
9.
Mask 01:31
Face behind a mask, Mask behind the fog, Fog before the windshield And a face beyond that. Anything could be a mask if you tried. I already decided I already know why.
10.
Velcro 03:57
Everyone's asleep and I don't have a clue what to eat Who was in the kitchen leaving all the drawers open? Who bites things and puts them back? I was waiting for a guide but where does he hide? There must be some kind of rule That we all could use. Vanity loves ritual. Red velvet, zip-tie, velcro. Any day could be good. You write songs and they disappear late at night for no one to hear. I could hear my voice for the very first time It was so quiet but that's the way I like it. There must be some kind of tool That we all could use. Vanity loves ritual. Hand to mouth, zip-tie, velcro. Any day could be good.
11.
Our great grandpa had a bucket of gold Buried somewhere under his home. A deep image of paradise Never disrupt the perfect order. Over and over: What's real? A hand reaching towards the sun. My grandfather's household appliances Forever stuck on the wrong times. When i fall asleep with the lights on What spirit's hand comes to shut them off?

about

There’s a space between literal and abstract where art often resides, and few bands excel at navigating that surreal territory more deftly than Horse Jumper of Love. On their third full-length, Natural Part, the Boston-based three-piece revels in the act of grasping at something that can’t be held, smudging the lines between rich details, hazy memories, vivid moments, and intangible feelings to create their most captivating record to date.

Horse Jumper of Love–guitarist/vocalist Dimitri Giannopoulos, bassist John Margaris, and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran–have steadily evolved since their formation in 2014, honing a mix of sprawling slowcore and raw indie rock across their 2016 self-titled debut and 2019’s So Divine. Now, Natural Part feels like the band’s biggest step forward yet. The group teamed once again with engineer Bradford Krieger and convened at his Rhode Island studio, Big Nice, to record. “I definitely don’t write the same way I did for the other records anymore,” Giannopoulos explains. “I never want to force anything or try to stick to a formula, and for this record I really felt like I could do whatever I wanted. I feel like I know myself a little more, like I’m a little more tapped into who I am and the songs feel more personal because of it.”

Sonically, Natural Part feels even more expansive than anything Horse Jumper of Love have done before, which is no small feat for a band whose music has often hinged on billowing guitars and roomy drums. Mixed by Danny Reisch (Sun June, Shearwater, White Denim), the album features a noticeable leap in fidelity, allowing the detailed songwriting to shine through without losing the tactile edges that imbue Horse Jumper of Love’s music with so much personality. Opener “Snakeskin” gently welcomes the listener with an enveloping atmosphere, before a sharply angled guitar riff in the towering second track “Ding Dong Ditch” fractures the aura. Familiar influences like Duster and David Berman can still be heard throughout, but new elements like cello—performed by Emily Dix Thomas and inspired by both Nirvana’s unplugged album and listening to Oasis’ “Wonderwall” in preparation for a Halloween cover set)—add different textures to the band’s reverberating sound. On “Chariots,” the new instrumentation blends effortlessly with Vadala-Doran and Margaris’ taut but roaming rhythm section, and adds an otherworldly mood to Giannopoulos’ lyrics.

A sense of mystery and the inevitability of change permeates much of Natural Part, with Giannapoulos often capturing snapshots that take note of a flickering feeling in the mundane, and then letting his imagination expand it into something profound. The title track encapsulates this approach as well as some of the recurring sentiments of the record: “I was thinking about the natural distancing that can happen between people,” Giannapoulos says. “They can just go their separate ways or grow apart, or it can even be people passing away. But that thought also started with me literally combing my hair,” he adds with a laugh. “The line between figurative and not gets pretty blurry. Sometimes weird shit happens but there’s some meaning there. Something will just stand out, you get immersed in it, and a song sort of flows out. It all feels like a collage of a certain time in my life.”

On songs like the poppy “I Poured Sugar In Your Shoes,” the hypnotic “Under The House (Skunks),” or the off-kilter “Sitting On The Porch At Night,” Giannopoulos’ molds the very specific experiences noted in the titles into meditations on life’s intricacies. Late in the album, the sub-two-minute standouts “I Put A Crown On You” and “Mask” highlight Horse Jumper of Love’s ability to economically communicate larger ideas; the former is a shining acoustic missive on appreciation blurring dependency, while the latter is a slowly unfurling plume of guitars that contemplates the physical and invisible barriers between us. “I was thinking about someone driving their car, wearing a mask–literal or not literal–and having that layer in front of their face,” Giannopoulos explains. “Then the windshield is another layer, and it’s a foggy night, so that’s another layer. You’re passing by them and there’s just all of these real and not real things between you and another person.”

It’s those kinds of details that makes Natural Part such a compelling listen. It’s an album planted firmly in small moments that feel big: the unexpected flashes that somehow feel authentic and esoteric all at once, and cut through our busy lives to ground us in something that seems meaningful—even if we can’t fully articulate why. “I love when those moments happen and it inspires something,” Giannopoulos reflects. “It makes me feel connected to the world. When something sparks my interest like that, it just feels like this is what it’s all about.”

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released June 17, 2022

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