Boris Skalsky began Dead Heart Bloom as a solo project in Washington, D.C. in 2005. But by the time In Chains was recorded in 2008 as the final EP in a three part series, Skalsky's one-man band had evolved into a quartet based in Brooklyn. These days, Dead Heart Bloom feeds off the city's energy and Brooklyn's bustling music scene, and stores this for later use in the studio.
Though energetic, In Chains is far from being entirely optimistic or upbeat. "Flash in a Bottle," for instance, has a defeatist tone typical throughout the album, but it is set to a cadence that is just buoyant enough to exude a kind of tired hope and closes with the fragmented line, "broken but proud." In a similar manner, "Impossible New City Dream," the final track on the EP, resembles a lullaby for the downtrodden big city dreamer. Fitting for this tone, Skalsky reports that he chose the name Dead Heart Bloom in a "paradoxical time" in his life to describe "a sort of tension between rebirth and an acknowledgment of a darkness."
In addition to a number of past recordings, In Chains is currently available as free download on the band's personal website.
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