The first time I listened to ‘Heart’s On The Line’ by Copenhagen’s ‘Høvring,’ I loved the interesting rhythms and funkiness of it. This isn’t a song with a steady beat and tempo: there are so many different parts to the song which all blend together to make an up-tempo, catchy and musically refreshing funk rock song.
However, it was only upon really studying the lyrics that I fully appreciated the lyrical depth and emotion of the song. Heart’s On The Line really does work on both levels: it’s great fun to listen to, dance to or play air bass to (has to be done) but it’s also an autobiographical tale of having to watch (and attempt to intervene) as a family member repeatedly gets into trouble. The frustration of trying to help someone who doesn’t accept the help comes through in the music, the lyrics and the Høvring’s vocal performance.
Lines like “I feel troubled by the headaches you provide, though my memories still keep me loving you” and “I don’t know you brother but you’re still my brother, I know you’re lonely brother and I’m here to help” give a glimpse into what it must be like to love someone who seems so self destructive. This is then followed by an increase in intensity and tempo for the chorus line “Get your shit together,” demonstrating the almost onomatopoeic link between the music and lyrics of singer/songwriter Victor Isager Høvring.
Every part of this is perfectly pitched. The guitar hooks are bluesy and funky; the song is carried along brilliantly by the drums and bass; the vocals and harmonies are on point (Høvring’s vocals have just the right amount of grit to really rock out while still having the melody for the more chilled verses) and the song dips in and out in terms of intensity, keeping it varied and interesting on the ear.
I’d love to see Høvring live. The track is exciting and rocks out on the record but it just sounds like one of those songs which would go up a level live. This is before I’ve even mentioned the guitar solo at the end of the track, which rounds off the song with a bang. It’s refreshing that Høvring have finished the song with the solo and not gone back into a final chorus. To me, that demonstrates how a) the music seems to align to the lyrics really well: I interpret the solo as being that last bit of anger and frustration where words aren’t enough and b) Høvring are happy to draw upon their influences (Red Hot Chilli Peppers/Foo Fighters) but are more than willing to go their own way and defy convention where it suits them.
If you’re looking for perfect funk/blues/rock with a touch of emotion and bite, Høvring are for you.
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Rhythmical and melancholic, it’s hard to have both in a single song but they did! Lovely tune.