The second album of music by Mathias H. Tjønn as Racing Heart, What Comes After is a political record trying to be personal rather than preachy. It contains songs about society’s impotent solutions in the aftermath of The Great Recession (“Flogging a Dead Horse”), office visits to the power players of the world (“A Prayer from Our Leaders”), reports from the front lines of our endless conflicts with no clear enemies (“Squaring the Circle”) as well as tracks about all the rest of us caught in the crossfire.
Produced by Hanne Hukkelberg, the album is a stark departure from Racing Heart’s debut record in both style and substance. Instead of looking inwards, they look outwards. Instead of being folk-based, they aim to meld acoustic instruments and synthesized sounds. This album has sharp edges. Genre-wise What Comes After is an experimental pop album inspired by musicians such as David Sylvian, Winston Tong and John Foxx. Mixing some of the sounds of the early 80’s with a multitude of contemporary voices both real and artificial, What Comes After tries to make some sense of the way neoliberalism and its faceless language of finance-first has led us here.
Helped greatly by the creativity of musician Jenny Hval who contributes both lyrics and vocals, the songs are propelled by the drums and programming of Martin Langlie (Susanne Sundfør, Pantha du Prince). Recorded and mixed in Oslo, Norway and New York, What Comes After will be released digitally and as a phono postcard worldwide on Misra Records, September 16th 2016.
Racing Heart was formed in Brooklyn in 2010. Two years later, To Walk Beside that Ghost was released on Movemountains Records, with members from The War on Drugs, St. Vincent and Sufjan Stevens’ bands joining the studio sessions.