Disaster Trick
(Run for Cover Records)
Add date: 8.20.2024
Release date: 8.16.2024

Apple Music
Official Website
Run For Cover

Horse Jumper of Love thrive on patient and uncompromising songs. Thanks to frontman Dimitri Giannopoulos’ evocative lyrics and arrangements that suddenly turn from delicate to blistering, their music is full of intensity. While the Boston trio, which also includes bassist John Margaris and drummer James Doran, has stretched the fringes of indie, their latest is their most immediate yet. Out August 16 via Run For Cover Records, Disaster Trick tackles self-destructiveness with healing and heart. 

Where Horse Jumper of Love’s last release 2023’s Heartbreak Rules excelled with quiet, bare-bones songwriting, Disaster Trick cranks up the volume while keeping the no-frills intimacy of the band’s catalog. Recorded at Asheville, North Carolina’s Drop of Sun Studios with producer Alex Farrar (Wednesday, Indigo De Souza), the recordings soar with searing guitars and an unshakeable rhythm section. “I tried the quiet thing on the last album and I realized there's definitely two parts of me: I like really heavy music, and I like really gentle music,” says Giannopoulos. “The two albums I listened to the most while we were in the studio were Leonard Cohen’s Songs From a Room and Hum’s Downward is Heavenward.” This contrast between quiet and loud exists throughout Disaster Trick but it's animated by stark emotion and straightforward, timeless songwriting. 

Disaster Trick feels like a creative reset. It’s also Horse Jumper of Love distilled to their purest essence, which is partly due to Giannopoulos’ recent sobriety. “This was the first album I've ever done where I went into it with a very clear mind,” he says. “In the past, we would just show up at a studio, drink, and record. Here, everything felt purposeful.” With newfound energy, the band revisited old, unfinished material like “Gates of Heaven,” which dates back nearly a decade. Originally written during a period Giannopoulos describes as full of immaturity, he sings, “I am late to work again / I’m always missing something / when I walk out the door.” By focusing on a mundane moment, he highlights how self-defeating behaviors can linger.  

For the band, the album marked an opportunity to strip down their songwriting to the essentials: urgent, accessible arrangements full of catharsis. “This album helped me realize that a lot of the time, simplicity is the answer,” says Giannopolous. Lead single “Wink,” captures this perfectly. When Giannopoulos sings over hushed guitars, “And your arms have never looked / More empty than they do from here,” his delivery exudes a remarkable earnestness. As the track hits a boiling point in its thunderous chorus, it's disarmingly raw. Other songs like “Today’s Iconoclast” are imbued with wry humor, referencing both “the Amazon Basics Bible” and playing “fuck, marry, kill” in consecutive verses. Whatever the mood, Giannopoulos’ lyrical directness anchors Disaster Trick.

While in Asheville, the band enlisted collaborations from Wednesday’s Karly Hartzman and MJ Lenderman as well as Squirrel Flower’s Ella Williams. Opening track “Snow Angel” kicks off with a growling, shoegaze-tinged guitar riff. It’s a heavy song that’s grounded by wistfulness. “Would you pull me a feather / From your pillow - I want to dream like you,” sings Giannopoulos. Throughout, Disaster Trick navigates uncomfortable, dark thoughts with a subtle grace. On the downtempo and compelling “Word,” Giannopoulos finds lightness in relationship malaise: “Last night we had a fight / You blamed it on the moon / But that’s not very fair to the moon.”

Disaster Trick is a dark record but there’s a glimmer of hope throughout. As he sings on “Death Spiral,” “I know it sounds dramatic / But I must describe / The way that it felt.” This gets to the core of the album: looking back on mistakes with the grace and clarity that comes from growing up. “A lot of the songs came out of this point where things in my life were going well but I couldn't accept it,” says Giannopoulos. “I was being a brat. Disaster Trick is me cleaning up my act and reflecting on it.”