Save Our Hearts feels like it was built on sunshine and crushed up conversation hearts that once said “True Love.”
It’s February: the month of despair. ‘Tis the season for a Vitamin D deficiency and discounted Valentine’s Day candy. Released in December, Madisyn Whajne’s Save Our Hearts has been a friend to me this month. Whajne’s album balances optimism with bitterness. It’s a bright dream-pop album with steadfast driving energy, but lyrically, Whajne frequently contrasts her instrumentation’s glow with broken hearts and withering glances. Save Our Hearts feels like it was built on sunshine and crushed up conversation hearts that once said “True Love.”
Across eleven songs, Whajne is infatuated with love one moment and rolls her eyes at the very idea the next. Anchored by an electric organ, “When Morning Comes” (featuring Basia Bulat) has a solemn tone as Whajne takes space to quietly reflect on the end of a relationship. Although “So In Love” starts with a lone and similarly sullen, fuzzed-out guitar, it grows into a joyful tune with Whajne and her bandmate James Gray embodying two people who have experienced love at first sight. Save Our Hearts’ opener “Summer Love,” on the other hand, is a snow-melting blast of warm air thanks to its sparkling guitar riff, but the titular seasonal love is just that, temporary. “Your words are full of doubt and I feel like our worlds are torn apart,” Whajne sings.
There are moments, like the line on “Summer Love,” across Save Our Hearts, that are heartbreaking: “Your love is not enough for me”; “No fire in my love for you”; “Your lips on mine, I just don’t feel them.” But Whajne is resolute when it comes to her happiness. This tenacity is at its clearest on “Never Give In” when Whajne, in contrast to the wandering guitar line, is steady and combats the darkness by stating: “I’ll be happy.” And her declaration feels like spotting the first buds of Spring.