The Arcade Hearts. They come from Gosport in South Hampshire and revel in an indie-dance-pop that seems to draw from the artistic movement of thought, music and visual arts known as Vapor Wave, in short a sort of speculation on the perennial misunderstanding of modernity.

However, the task of building the choreography of these three singles, entitled “Different Place“, “Running” and “Honey” has not been entrusted to the electronic installations with accelerationist impulses. Rather, that honour goes to a flexible, funky representation of pop filtered by the infinite corridors of memory, which then gets to an extreme synthesis that is, all at once, rhythm and precision, hypnagogical lightness and a search for a sense of being in our temporary world.

The Arcade Hearts sound like the 21st century Kajagoogoos, with bass in “slap” and arpeggios of crystalline guitars which sometimes evoke the most dreamy Christopher Cross, or the top ranking Toto, all with a sort of sophisticated indie-pop and Euro-fashionista Phoenix-like attitude, or the feverish energy of the “Always Ascending” pre-decline Franz Ferdinand;

The musical organism that takes life floats suspended in a neon green grid rather than embarking on an Icarian flight with definite tragic results. All this happens without worrying too much about its lasting over time, with acute awareness of its fast perishability, of the relative consistency typical of an easy-to-use musical product that is looking for its place among the shelves, ready to be decoded in the digital-sound supermarket.

And though, if we could get rid of the “mal du archive” (Derrida?) and from its compulsive and yet hapless search for an “answer to all things”, and simply immersed ourselves in the mood of these pieces, we would discover a strongly dancing and purely entertaining vocation. It sounds like a mesmeric call that takes us up on stage, so we can enjoy the shining groove of their music in the most suitable location.

Moreover, here we are not inside the self-absorbed world of domestic adolescent shelters, illuminated by the magnetic lights of a playstation, but are confused by intermittent flashes that leak from imaginary arcades.

Those very same arcades in which so many of us shared the hallucination of continuously exceeding our top scores, in a somehow collective isolation, and even today, in an ever-more lucid dream, we are staring in disbelief at a screen of Pacman or Space Invaders, and reading the mysterious name with the imaginary high score we ask: “who are these Arcade Hearts, though?”.


Nando Dorelassi


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