Horse Jumper of Love

Follow this artist

About this artist

Horse Jumper of Love specialize in glacial, slowcore-inflected indie rock that is as measured and contemplative as it is rich and absorbing. After starting off lo-fi, D.I.Y., and proud of it, their second album, 2019′s So Divine began to show signs of a band waking up to the possibilities of the recording studio. By the time of 2022′s Natural Part, the group had introduced subtle strings, bigger guitar sounds, and a tougher rhythm section that actually rocked at times. In the transition to a bigger sound, the fragile lyrics and tender vocals of Dimitri Giannopoulos kept the band tethered to the realities of slowcore.
The Boston-based band had its beginnings when guitarist/vocalist Giannopoulos and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran played in a cover band during high school. John Magaris went to the same school and was in a different band. After they all graduated, and after Giannopoulos had bailed out of college, they got together to hang out and soon started playing together. Inspired by the stark minimalism of slowcore groups like Bedhead and Duster, along with the bleak introspection of the Microphones, the band — who took their name from a botched translation of a Latin phrase — started playing the songs Giannopoulos had been writing in a whirlwind of desperation late at night. Early recordings like those compiled on 2015′s Make-Out Version are resolutely lo-fi and scratchy, the band paying more attention to setting a mood than playing the right notes clearly.
The group began to build a following of slowcore converts at a series of house shows and D.I.Y. events, then rewarded them with the release of Horse Jumper of Love’s debut self-titled album in 2016. Released by the team of Joy Void and Disposable America, the record was true to the spirit of the mid-’90s slowcore sound while also adding some aching emo accents, especially in Giannopoulos’ vocals. The record took off with critics and gained enough acclaim that it caught the attention of emo-adjacent label Run for Cover, which signed the band and got them working on a follow-up. 2019′s So Divine cleaned up their sound while still leaving plenty of space between the notes and room for Giannopoulos to emote with a bracing mix of passion and restraint. The album was engineered by Bradford Krieger and the band headed to his Rhode Island studio to work on their next record as well.
Changes were afoot as Giannopoulos decided to write more focused lyrics, ditching the abstract emotion of the past in favor of a more storytelling approach. The group also added new elements to the mix, namely the cello playing of Emily Dix Thomas, as they recorded their most direct and powerful album to date. Featuring a mix of gnarly midtempo indie rock songs and plainspoken noise ballads, Natural Part was released by Run for Cover in June 2022. ~ Tim Sendra