Jadu Heart are the duo bringing together pagan rituals and romance
We premiere the video for Jadu Heart’s new single Burning Hour.
Jadu Heart have been on a journey of transformation lately. Since the release of their debut album Melt Away last year, the duo have moved to Bristol, dropped their masked alter-egos and shifted their sound away from the electronics of their debut in favour of homespun psychedelia.
Where once Jadu Heart told the story of Faro and Dina, mythical beings who were cursed in a temple, their upcoming second album Hyper Romance tells the stories of musicians Alex Headford and Diva Jeffrey. Hints of their origins remain, but it’s clear the duo have employed a more personal approach for their new project, mixing their interest in myths and rituals with musings on the lengths we go for love.
Today, we premiere the pair’s new single and video, Burning Hour. Directed by the duo and Dave Monis, the video for Burning Hour mixes footage of Jadu Heart exploring locked-down Bristol (now wearing a different kind of mask) with pagan symbolism and a journey into the forests of the West Country. Watch it below and keep reading for our interview with Headford and Jeffrey about the track, their new album and their creative transformation.
What’s the origin of Burning Hour? What inspired the track?
Diva: I think we’d just been researching a load of pagan, witchy, gothic stuff, and when we moved in next to a church and started recording this album, it just kind of happened.
You’ve said that “we all perform rituals to keep our hearts above water”. What are some of the rituals you both practice?
Diva: I think one of the main rituals we try and perform is kindness and we try not to have this ‘born alone, die alone’ mentality. But sometimes you can fall too deep into trying to please someone else (partner, friends, family, work, society etc), at which point you can lose sight of who you are. If you’ve ever seen a moth fly into a fire you’ll know what I mean. Burning Hour is a reminder to keep things in perspective and try not to allow yourself to be hypnotised by the flames.
The video was filmed in and around Bristol during lockdown. How did you find that experience? Did you have to adapt any of your ideas because of it?
Diva: It was a weird one for sure. I don’t think we had to adapt too much, as we’re quite used to making found footage/DIY music videos, but the weirdest thing was just being out and about and having a strong feeling that we weren’t meant to be there. People would walk past and shake their heads while we were filming. I think they probably thought we were influencers in the wild or something when we were actually working. The forest scenes were much more discrete.
There’s some clear horror movie inspiration in the video with the found-footage style. What are your favourite films in that style? Why did you want to incorporate it into this video?
Alex: We love folk horror films, not because of the horror elements but because of the pagan nature of them. The stories are usually based around some strange European culture that doesn’t get talked about much and they usually look wicked. Check out, A Field In England, Witchfinder General and The Wickerman (1973). We knew we wanted to do something pagan to help tie the other themes on the record, but with coronavirus we couldn’t get a crew. We’re also limited by money like most indie artists so shooting it Blair Witch-style seemed like the best way to tell the story on a low budget.
Do the events of this video relate back to the Jadu Heart origin myth?
Alex: Everything’s connected one way or another, this album is from us – Alex and Diva – but we haven’t seen the last of Faro and Dina. The symbolism we used in that mythology will forever be scattered around our music.
How does Burning Hour tie into Hyper Romance more widely?
Alex: The whole album documents the deepest, darkest and hardest moments of relationships, this track comes near the end of the album where I would say the album is at its most intense and the end of Burning Hour is the peak of that intensity. I think the lyrics reflect that as well, it’s not as playful as most of the other tracks, kinda like a real relationship, sometimes it reaches intense boiling points and it can feel like you’re being burned at the stake.
Have your plans around the album’s release changed at all in the last few months?
Alex: Of course! It’s been pushed back a while, our tours have been cancelled and moved, but mostly the mindset of the world has changed. This album was written over a few months in 2019 that seems like years and years ago. This album is our baby and we will always love it and be super proud of it, but I’m going to be happy to have it out and let it go into the world. With everything else that’s going on, BLM, trans rights and the millions protesting for equality, it makes a little grungey garage rock album made in Bristol seem insignificant. But that in itself makes me enjoy the record even more, it reminds me of how I used to think about music in a pre-streaming way. An album by a band, no overly produced bells and whistles, just homemade and loud.
Hyper Romance is out 25 September