The indie pop duo Haerts are somewhat soft-spoken, but have a clear and charismatic chemistry that only comes from working together for so many years. Nini Fabi and Benjamin Gebert grew up in Munich, Germany and have been creating music together since they were teenagers, making one of their strengths their trust in one another. Upon moving to Brooklyn in 2010, the pair saw a rush of success with a major record label and their debut EP Hemiplegia in 2013 followed by their self-titled debut album in 2014. With hits like “Wings” and “Be The One,” the pair solidified themselves as an introspective and lyrically sensitive musical outfit.
Following the separation from their record label in 2015, Haerts retreated to a peaceful escape in the Hudson Valley, where they could rediscover their most honest creative spirit and reconnect with their musical identity. “We were looking for solitude and a little bit of peace at that point,” Fabi says of the pair’s decision to relocate ahead of making new music. After spending time in a tranquil cabin, writing and recording in a relaxed “karaoke style,” Haerts created their sophomore album, New Compassion.
“This record is about our relationship and our love but it is also about love in general. We were going through quite the time of pain, and we wanted to communicate that,” Fabi says of New Compassion‘s overall theme. “We wanted to try and make sense and find meaning, and we did that by shaping it into the music.” Featuring some of their most personal music to date, Fabi and Gebert agree that the time spent writing New Compassion was a very transformational period, offering them a chance to find the strength to create on their own terms. “Musically, we were trying to find some clarity by stripping back and focusing on something more minimal,” Fabi says.
With songs like “No Love for the Wild” and “Your Love,” the album reveals a sentiment of heartbreak and internal struggle, while the title track inspires the search for strength to grow, despite being wronged. Striking a balance between feeling sorrow and striving to heal are what Fabi describes as “the most human and universal feelings” and things that hopefully listeners can connect with.
Though the album is admittedly a very personal reflection of both Fabi and Gebert’s narratives, there has already been a level of interpretation seen with the song “Your Love” being featured on the soundtrack for the second season of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. “It’s one of of the craziest things,” Gebert says. “You write a song and it is your baby. You associate with the song so strongly in one way and when you see it in a television show, it takes on a different meaning. It’s a strange feeling, but very cool.” Fabi agrees with Gebert by saying that as a pair, they have never minded when their songs are interpreted differently, adding, “Our hope is always that the music can go beyond what we had in mind and that it can communicate something more universal.”
From surviving heartbreak to creating a world of new compassion, Haerts are ready to tour their most personal album yet, and hope to bring listeners closer than ever to their music.
Main photo credit: Julian Klincewicz