Shasta’s “Roaming Hearts” Shows Us How to Process Heartbreak and Heartache Without Getting Stuck in Bitterness and Resentment

The music video for Shasta’s “Roaming Hearts” looks like something that might have come out of the late 80s with the washed out colors, collage style visual elements and a bit of stop motion effects. Something you might have seen in a Bangles or They Might Be Giants video of that time. Glistening synths casting an uplifting sheen, the mix of live drums and drum machines, the alternately jagged and introspectively atmospheric guitar and melodic bass in which Micayla Grace’s seems to dance about in reverie combine to make for a song that seems rooted in styles across decades. At the same time there is an emotional immediacy and intimacy to the song as though it had originally been written on an acoustic guitar to work out the melodies, the structure and the use of space. The pedigree of the group might suggest a different set of musical expecations as Grace was once a member of Bleached and Albert Hammond Jr.’s band, drummer Jon Sortland is in The Shins and guitarist Cecilia Della Perruti is a multi-instrumentalist who has been a touring member of Beck’s live band as well as that of Charlie XCX not to mention her own group Gothic Tropic. The band started when Grace met synth player Jennifer Duardo in an alley in the Mission district of San Francisco and found in each other kindred creative spirits. “Roaming Hearts” has a freshness of spirit that makes its tale of heartbreak and heartache not just more palatable but transformative in working through the complex emotions and not getting lost in bitterness and resentment, which is a much more original take on an age old subject than we often hear in a pop song.