Sometimes, a little push is all you need. And a push is what you’ll get from “Forward,” a slice of tender tough love from Belgian indie-popper Heyoka’s most recent EP, Mercure.
A hypnotically persuasive anthem that combines old-school symphonics with modern martial beats, “Forward” finds the high-minded Heyoka challenging us listeners to move beyond our bad mental habits. With an unassuming purr, he insinuates himself into our inner mind like the voice of an ancient conscience, then plants a message there that’s inspirational and aspirational – a wake-up call that a brighter day is coming if we want it.
It’s time to look into your lies
Can you tell me when you look into my eyes
That you’re happy about how you live your life?
I can’t help unless you let me in
I can’t say if you need me or not
I trust you I know you’ll be alright
Even if it’s hard sometime
It’s a soundtrack to self-improvement, a motivational hymn that’ll get the job done whether you’re working some things out or just working out. The accompanying music video ups the ante on physicality even further, showing three simply dressed dancers conveying the emotions behind the words via elegant movements devised in collaboration with choreographer Helène Duguy.
Check out YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTDpnOAJprQ
“As I write, compose and arrange all of my songs alone, letting other people enter into this project was an opportunity to open it to other influences,” Heyoka says. “It was incredible to see the choreography come to life as they were interpreting the song, which is about struggling to deal with what happens inside of us, needing help and being ready or not to accept it.”
That emotional weight is maintained throughout the introspective Mercure, a five-song stream of consciousness-raising that relies on stirring synths and quasi-military beats to get its point across. Tracks like “Prologue” and “Ghosts” balance the isolation of personal heartbreak with an almost cosmic sense that such vulnerabilities are what ultimately unite us all.
Heyoka himself has had to look inward to get to where he is now. Growing up in a household with no artistic role models to speak of, he began teaching himself how to play instruments and program musical software at age 9. Now a rising star on the Belgian indie scene, this part-time French teacher and full-time thinker might just have hit on the prescription for all our emotional ills. Get “Forward,” and start getting better.