On Tired Hearts, Daniel, David, and Julia BAILEN deliver a dazzling set of songs that navigates the space between the heart’s expectation and the head’s sober reality. At times both intricate and playful, measured and elaborate, the album’s 12 original songs wrestle with an uncertain future where ethics and morality—both communal and personal—are constantly shifting.
Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee) and BAILEN, and mixed by Lars Stalfors (Soccer Mommy, St. Vincent, Local Natives) Tired Hearts’ taut, synth-driven tracks are centered around BAILEN’s radiant harmonies and adventurous arrangements furthering the group’s exhilarating avant-pop evolution. Cook was instrumental in expanding the band’s ambition beyond what they initially envisioned. “We played the last record live a hundred times before recording it, so we tracked a lot of it live,” Daniel explains. “With Brad, we took a collagist’s approach. It freed us up to explore and be sonically adventurous.”
The album’s numerous high points include the sparkling “Call It Like It Is,” co-written by BAILEN and X Ambassadors’ Adam Levin and Sam Harris, the iridescent pop of “Nothing Left to Give,” the tender hushed intimacy of “These Bones,” and the piercing, lilting title track “Tired Hearts.” The moving “BRCA (Nothing Takes Me Down),” a title derived from the breast cancer gene Julia shares with her mother (a breast cancer survivor) is indicative of the band’s incredible range. Over a slow building rhythmic pulse, Julia sings of hospital gowns and uncertainty, untying a complex knot of familial anxiety, guilt, and acceptance, while embracing the determination to move forward: I’ll still live like I’m dying/But I won’t let it take me down. “It’s about finding ways to not be defined by these circumstances, and to move past them with resilience,” she affirms.