A deep dive into an incredibly important record.
In Hearts Wake have just released Kaliyuga', their most viciously important record to date, through UNFD. Drawing attention to the things that are tearing the world apart and trying to offer up some sort of salvation, it's a vitally special record for these strange and uncertain times.
We recently spoke to vocalist Jake Taylor and he gave us an in-depth look at each and every track. Get ready...
“Last September I found myself in New York when the climate strike was happening and there was a huge march taking place. I was in the middle of the whole thing and me, being ignorant, didn’t even know that Greta Thunberg was leading us through the city. I was amongst thousands of like-minded people as we marched up to Battery Park which was our final destination. When we got there, Greta took to the stage and in complete shock I pulled out my phone and turned on the voice recorder.
"Her speech was really moving and in that moment I realised that there is a real, influential movement coming through her and her ideas. The feelings I felt on that day and the words that I heard inspired us to use that same impactful recording to set the stage for ‘Kaliyuga’, our contribution to this movement.”
“This song came together in one day, and it’s a snapshot of how we were all feeling about the world. We were over in America at the time and had just found out about the insane bushfires raging through our homeland of Australia, so this is us delivering our message back home. We’re confronting humanity and questioning people on whether they treat the Earth with the same care and energy as they treat themselves. There’s a real sense of urgency in getting people to think about the impact of their actions on the world around them.
"During the recording I was running up and down the hall of the studio with the microphone, being told by our producer to go as crazy as I could. Listening back now it’s a direct window into the intense emotions we were feeling. We don’t want to ease people into this record, we want to drag them straight into the deep end.”
“This track is about not judging a book by its cover. We feel like the metal community is massively misunderstood and our band has witnessed a number of picketers outside our shows, particularly in America. They’ve called out our fans in the line, saying horrible things to them just to provoke a response.
"This is a cheeky jab at those people, because when we look at it critically the joke is actually on them, so they can point the finger all they like. The devil is inside them and their own judgement, not within us.”
“Many ancients spoke of four ages of humanity, and like the four seasons it’s a cycle that goes around. The age that we are said to be in now is Kali Yuga, a time in which humanity will be forced to face itself through destruction, disease, oppression, materialism and greed.
"Sonically and lyrically this track acts almost as a sequel to ‘Traveller (The Fool)’ from our debut record. There’s this sense of calling out for a new life and welcoming that momentum for change, echoing a hope that we can push through Kali Yuga to a new beginning. In a lot of ways, it’s a celebration of the release of this record as a whole, and it captures the progression of nature and our surroundings. We want people to see how far we’ve come on our journey so far, but also how far we have left to go.”
“My girlfriend at the time was going through a really challenging period in her life whilst she was living in Hollywood. She was feeling like a puppet, with this day-in day-out routine of people touching her, doing her make-up, telling her where to go and what to do. After a while she realised that she had so much inside of her that she wanted to express but she was on a clock, having to follow the ways of the system.
"She was feeling trapped, and when I was writing the lyrics to this song, I wanted to write something for all of the people that might come to shows and feel this same cage around them. This is a safe space, and a song in which we want people to celebrate their release from whatever they’re going through.”
‘SON OF A WITCH’
“My mum was raised as a Roman Catholic but when she was young, she had a near-death experience that made her reconsider her faith. She realised that the values she was being taught weren’t resonating with her, and after having an out-of-body experience she began to explore her spirituality more, discovering a talent for tarot reading.
"Through her spiritual development and her journey to become a clairvoyant, I was inspired. Society has developed a patriarchal system, and often I think that the ways in which we look at the maternal world are flawed. We oppress the things which are out of our control, and we should be embracing them. As the son of a witch, this is me taking a stand and telling our story, albeit in a more fantasy rich sense.”
“This song was written in the studio with my girlfriend at the time on what would become our last night together. We were going through a breakup and realised that we were at a crossroad, heading in very different paths to one another. This is a celebration of what we were feeling, and whilst it’s an incredibly personal story it’s one that we both wanted to share.
"I’m so proud of this song because it serves as a time capsule of how we were feeling, and though those words were hard to get onto paper on that night, it’s a rewarding memory.”
“Kyle, our bass player, was going through the monotony of working as a carpet cleaner in his day job away from the band. He was cleaning up other people’s mess every day, whether it be the end of a big night or blood stains, and was beginning to question his self-worth. He confided in us about it and I was able to empathise with my own feelings of doubt and frustration, so we married our stories to create ‘Husk’.
"I think these ideas are reflective of what a lot of people have experienced during this worldwide pandemic, where we have been forced to isolate and become closed within ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest from the trees, but we’ve all been there.”
“Nāgá is a revolving serpent that consumes its own tail, and the shape that it creates is a full circle. Even though it’s only a short, instrumental piece, this is one of the most pivotal points of ‘Kaliyuga’.
"We wanted this track to feel as primal as possible, coming from the ancient place of Kali Yuga that inspires the record. It builds the scene before we enter into ‘Force Of Life’ and introduces the second half of the album, reeling you in before propelling you into the fire and energy of the next tracks.”
‘FORCE OF LIFE’
“This song is about the time I spent on a vision quest. You have to stay within a ten-foot circle and can take only water, the clothes on your back and your sleeping bag. You’re out there voluntarily but you have no food, can’t see anybody for four days and just sit within nature for the whole time.
"Just as Nāgá represents a full circle ideology, this was my own self-reflective experience. Facing the hell of all the thoughts in my head, I battled with my contempt for the world and birthed through that. When I emerged, I was able to realise that nature is pretty damn beautiful, and when you take things to their very core, everything is actually okay.”
“The crux of this song had been sitting around for a while, and we wanted to tackle those intense feelings of angst and not being able to express your emotions. Whilst we were in the studio working on it, Joker came out in movie theatres and we decided to go and watch it. When we regrouped in the studio the next day, we realised how important that film was as a case study of the psychological space of the mind. All of us in our own way go through what the Joker went through in that film, whether it’s the self-reflective frustration, desperation to be heard or just not knowing how to vent that.
"That film really allowed us to flesh out the song, but the significance went one step further when I asked my stepdad to do a guest vocal at the end. He was feeling a whole range of emotions, having not screamed for about fifteen years. When I gave him the microphone it was amazing to watch him let loose and get all of his emotion out.”
“Out of any song on the record, this one sums up ‘Kaliyuga’ the best. The opening lyric, 'We do not see what we want to see', refers to the illusion that comes with disinformation, and the cloud of lies we constantly find ourselves lost within. We need to focus on what matters and seek the truth in everything, and that’s what is so important about the realisation and awakening of Kali Yuga.
"We have to try and see through the misinformation and lies, not only in the media but within ourselves, and work out what feels right and where our hearts truly lie. It’s a constant navigation, and being a human is a real challenge, but it’s also an incredible gift.”
“There is a prophecy that speaks of the year 2033 as the point in which humanity has passed the point of return. What that means is that if we continue on this path of self-destruction and remain ignorant to the fact that we are biting the hand that feeds, we will face some huge implications.
"2033 is an end that is not written in stone, but it is a certain fate that we can meet if we choose to be ignorant in how we move forward. The lyrics, 'What’s it going to be, 2033?' are a warning to us all. Are we going to make a change, or are we just going to sit back and watch the world burn?”
You can pick up 'Kaliyuga' on gorgeous vinyl from our mates over at EMP from right HERE