Jon Hopkins - Garden's Heart ft. Natasha Khan | Track Review | By Volume

I'm afraid of heaven because I can't stand the height. I'm afraid of you because I can't be left behind. St. Vincent - Regret

Jon Hopkins ft. Natasha Khan

Garden's Heart

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Author: on September 2, 2013

What a year 2013 must be for Jon Hopkins. The London-based producer released one of the finest electronic records in recent memory in Immunity and now is composing the soundtrack to Kevin Macdonald’s (The Last King of Scotland) newest feature-length picture. “Garden’s Heart” is a breathtaking, tempered collaboration between Hopkins and Natasha Khan and is the first taste of what Jon is creating to soundtrack How I Live Now. And as the subtly driving bass line kicks in, while Khan’s voice exhumes its usual effervescence, we are left to float by Hopkins. Yet this space in between he creates, as Natasha croons, is so infinitesimal, so bare naked, it is quite simple for “Garden’s Heart” to slip right into your own psyche, composing notes to your actions, thoughts and heartbeat. Blip after blip, strum after strum and ethereal whisper, one after the next, Hopkins and Khan take limited resources and craft a blisteringly engaging and intricate piece of heart-warming music.

Maybe it’s Natasha Khan’s elegant voice, or Jon Hopkins’ distinct affinity to collaboration, but these two gel together wondrously. That says even more when you actually break down what is musically going on here with “Garden’s Heart” – essentially a fluffed up minimalist bass line, supporting Khan’s engrossing vocals. This sounds like it belongs in a movie, for sure, but what is most impressive is just how well “Garden’s Heart” exists outside of its thematic parent – this song is standalone, pure and simple. And it truly creates its own world, separate from How I Live Now, even as actress Saoirse Ronan stars in the video, which could by all means be cut from movie scenes (gorgeous, then). It doesn’t matter though: because this isn’t How I Live Now’s world, but very much the realm of “Garden’s Heart”. “You need to find a way back here / remember what I said / the space that is in between / you have to fight it”, Khan reminds us; nobody’s going anywhere.


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