Album Review: Jadu Heart – Derealised (VLF Records)

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Album Reviews, Blog

Derealised from Jadu Heart unfurls like a lucid dream, tailored for the contemplative soul navigating the early 2020s’ emotional labyrinth. Released in January 2023 via VLF Records, this album is a Nordstar for the introspective wanderer, a soul-stirring third act from the London-based dream pop/shoegaze duo Diva-Sachy Jeffrey and Alex Headford, a duo known for their mask-donning enigmatic presence and genre-blending soundscapes. Painted with the broad strokes of shared struggle and the fine lines of personal revelation, experience Jadu Heart at the 2024 Europavox Festival at Control Club on April 4th.

Following the dreamy, ethereal soundscapes combined with introspective lyrics of their initial EP, the melancholic Wanderflower (2016, Anchor Point), and debut album, Melt Away, (2019, VLF) it was 2020’s Hyper Romance that would mark a significant evolution in Jadu Heart’s sound, introducing a more grounded, raw, and emotionally charged dimension to their music. This album saw the duo embracing a broader range of influences from indie rock to psychedelic pop, reflecting a more introspective and vulnerable narrative arc that hit a thematic apex with Derealised.

Derealised is a voyage from the depths of despair to the peaks of hopefulness, cradled in the arms of ethereal melodies and shoegaze-infused guitars. From its inaugural strums, the opening track, Glistener, lures us into Jadu Heart’s world with hypnotic guitar patterns and an open invitation to “lose yourself again.” It’s a siren call to an album that deftly dances on the boundary between light and dark, with Cocoon and lead-single I Shimmer striking a delicate balance between the weight of emotional vulnerability and offering a radiant, sun-kissed escape and shoegaze-y guitars.

At the core of Derealised lies a candid dialogue about mental health, tinged with optimism and psychedelic undercurrents. Jeffrey and Headford peel back the layers of their souls, revealing struggles with depression and derealization yet refusing to let the narrative drown in despair. Instead, they sculpt an album that’s as much about finding light in the darkness as it is about the journey through it. A we’ re-tired-of-negativity, sadness, and anxiety sentiment pulsates throughout, transforming personal battles into universal anthems of resilience.

This album navigates the tumultuous seas of the modern psyche with an artistic grace that defies genre constraints, from the echoing depths of Webs to the introspective peaks of Derealisation and through the liberating valleys of Freedom and the Phoenhix-esque You.Are Jadu Heart charts a course through the chaos of life, urging us to embrace love, confront trauma, and ultimately, find acceptance in the imperfection of existence. There Is No Door teeters on the edge of the existential abyss, inviting us to ponder the infinite within and without through kaleidoscopic psychedelia.

In Derealised, Jadu Heart crafts a sanctuary for the weary soul. In this space, the alienation and disconnection that define derealization (a disorder that occurs when you always or often feel that you’re seeing yourself from outside your body or sense that things around you are not real — or both) are understood and transcended. It’s a testament to the duo’s evolution, a narrative woven with threads of hope and darkness, challenging us to look beyond the immediate and into the depths of our being.

As we navigate the lingering remnants of pandemic isolation and the personal and collective upheavals of recent years, Derealised offers solace and a map to the light always waiting to be found. It’s an album for the dreamers, the thinkers, and anyone who’s ever felt a step removed from the world around them, reminding us that even in the darkest night, dawn is never too far off. Jadu Heart’s Derealised is, ultimately, a clarion call to the optimist in all of us, beckoning us towards a horizon where every shadow is matched by light. Every moment of despair is countered by an unyielding flicker of hope.

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