Music

Runes gets earnest on his latest synthwave pop tune ‘Open Up Your Heart’

Crisp production, vocal chops, and ambient synth work create an immersive soundscape for Runes to sing his latest track Open Up Your Heart.

When you listen to Runes, you know he has fallen deeply in love with his genres of french-electro, synthwave, and undoubtedly ’80s pop.

His shimmering and atmospheric production has lent its hand to a more serious track than usual, Open Up Your Heart, which sees Runes get serious about relationships, and the universal desire for connection.

Runes

The electronic-based project known as Runes is Melbourne based, which is crucial for understanding the context of Open Up Your Heart. Last year, during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, Melbourne was held to a severe lockdown, due to its increased cases. With limited opportunity for human interaction or connection, the Runes project was born – an escape from the chaos and clouds of fear. It opened up a window for sonic expression, and indeed, reflection on what’s most important. This sentiment especially rings true on his latest effort, Open Up Your Heart.

With the extra time on his hands, Runes admittedly binged “too many documentaries and podcasts on cults”, in between watching the world “go mad”. Naturally, amidst this strange social climate of a fully-fledged pandemic as well as the idiosyncratic viewing habit, it wouldn’t have made sense to create another upbeat synth banger like Nightlife or Cold Nights. This is perhaps why Open Up Your Heart, is Runes’ first track with a vocal performance and lyrics. It was at long last, time to get emotive.

Padded with slow, atmospheric minor synths and a thumping 4/4 beat, the track’s opening line is ice-cold: “Swallow all your feelings. I’ve been lonely too”. The pre-chorus reaches for optimism “will you be the one I dream of?” and the synths become brighter. It quickly becomes apparent to the listener that Runes has a talent for matching subject matter to relevant sonic tones. The vocal chops add some needed additional texture, while the melodic delivery at the front of the mix is reminiscent of electro pioneers Kraftwerk. The many synth layers give off a potent sci-fi vibe, a signature mood for Runes’ tracks.

Through Open Up Your Heart’s simplicity and simmering production, Runes delivers a plea for connection that remains important to the times we live in. His straightforward and honest approach to the track makes it stick, and if the Melbourne based artist can continue to release synth-tracks of this calibre, electronic music lovers will be latching on in no time.

Download Open Up Your Heart here and enjoy the clip below: