Synthwave Single Review: "Black Heart" by Oblique
Black Heart by Oblique is a song that combines shining synths with surging bass and ethereal, drifting vocals that carry a message of a relationship at an end, but one from which the narrator is recovering and moving on. The whole track is driven by a deep thunder of bass and drums that push it on.
The combination of the Sonja's ethereal voice and the well-written lyrics gives the song an expressive and emotional feeling that outline the feelings of moving on from a toxic relationship and trying to build a life that’s better for the narrator.
One strong element in this single is the interlocking bass thunder and powerful drums that add a weight and anchoring quality to the music. That strong pulse from both elements keeps the song moving and adds more punch to the other parts of the music.
The way broken slices of drifting synth move through the track adds a feeling of flashes of light shining out over the music as the lead synth melody calls out underneath the vocals, supporting the singer’s voice rather than overwhelming it.
I also want to mention my favourite remix of the song that is included on the single. It’s the Sauvage remix that has a feeling of ‘80s synthpop about it that emphasizes the lyrics with the oscillating drive of the synth pulse under it. I felt it kept the mood of the original while making it feel more classic.
This is a song about breaking free of an unhealthy relationship and moving into a better place. The song opens with a statement of strength as the narrator says, “My skin is harder than you think. I’m in a place that you’ll never know.” The idea of moving past the negativity is expressed in the words, “Everything you touch, I don't need. What you see, I no longer look at.”
The narrator speaks of the person they are leaving behind and says, “You want, but you can’t break my heart. Yours is so black. You just want to tear me apart, but I am somewhere else.”
I also like the image in the lines,”You move your hands and your mouth. And I go in the other direction.”
I especially like the defiant feeling of the words, “You teach morality and live a perfect life or that’s what you think. I create the life I want to not obey empty perfection.”
Black Heart by Oblique does a good job of combining a well-delineated atmosphere with an ethereal vocal melody, strong lyrics and shining synths, all over a strong throb of bass and drums that propels the song forward.