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What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance - A Place in France (Single) TDRCO-026

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What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance
A Place in France (Single)

Release Date: May 22, 2012

Though only three minutes long, this instrumental covers a lot of territory. At times disjointed and unfocused, What In You Heart maintains a compelling and peaceful vibe throughout the arrangement. It is basically two instrumentals that are loosely joined by a deconstruction of sorts in the middle. The first section, which is slightly more up tempo, simply breaks down and fades into a soup of production textures before starting again as a slightly more laid back section. There’s no lead instrument to speak of, but with flute, piano, percussion, synths, and Mariya May’s wanton cooing, there is plenty to pick out and enjoy. A few reference points might be helpful: try Penguin Café Orchestra covering one of Yann Tiersen’s lesser known masterpieces. And yes, that’s unabashed flattery. (HUTCH HILL, July 31, 2012)

With their newest single “A Place in France”, Portland-based duo What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance tread into familiar sonic territory, and dreamy wash, psych/freak folk underpinnings, and an overall sense of melodic cohesion are par for the course. “A Place in France” receives musical treatment courtesy of What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance’s dynamic duo of Mariya May and Ryan Michael Block, both talented tune-smiths in their own right. May and Block’s collaborations make perfect sense (as evidenced by their recent retro-futurist full-length Don’t Take All This Groove Away), as the two form significant pillars of the Portland-centric Ten Dollar Recording Co.’s catalogue.

“A Place in France” continues much in the same vein of Don’t Take All This Groove Away, and sounds as if it could have well been a b-side to the album, mirroring the often lush and textural walk-abouts that characterized the nucleus of the previous outing. The main current of “A Place in France” is more mirage than structured “song” in the pop sense, and is essentially divided into two chunks. The track starts off with a jangling, bass-and-cymbal-heavy ensemble intro piece that stretches out over nearly the whole first minute of the song’s 2:53 run time. Slightly dramatic, the piece builds on a core aesthetic that features an upward slant holding aloft some of May’s nicely placed flute work, before quickly fading out in a metallic haze. The second half is more vintage What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance, and features a head-in-the-clouds, misty musical backdrop teeming with strummed guitars, swirled piano keys, and May’s signature flute accompaniment underneath layers of non-verbal vocal “oohs” and “aahs” courtesy of May’s voice. The effect is somewhat embryonic, and feeling and color take privilege over structure and movement as the track meanders over hill and dale towards some unknown destination. Like much of What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance’s output, the sights along the way are more important than the end destination, and May and Block’s chemistry and propensity for breathing a sort of fragile animus into their somewhat baroque and nostalgic compositions are again on display here.

Almost before you realize it, the song is ending, and one is left to wonder if another minute or so on this track would have helped to fully establish the mood of the second half. However, there’s always repeat. (REED BURNAM, June 19, 2012)