Divided Heaven - Cold War (Cover Artwork)

Divided Heaven

Cold War (2018)

Wiretap Records

Divided Heaven’s new record Cold War could easily be the soundtrack of a movie that “reek(s) of nostalgia” and mystique. The band is the brainchild of Jeff Berman, who’s been in various punk/hardcore bands over the years and has drifted to more of an indie rock ‘n’ roll sound these days. He has written an album that evokes images of heartache and longing, as well as forgiveness and reconciliation. And while the focus here is definitely on the poetic lyrics, Berman is going for more of a full band sound on this album via Nic Morreale and Derik Envy. As a result, you get a combination of Replacements-esque rock (i.e. “Nightlife Youth” or “Cold War”) combined with a more subdued sound that is reminiscent of Bright Eyes or Elliott Smith.

The album starts with the 34-second intro entitled “Fire”, a somber opening that quickly gives way to the louder, more aggressive track “Home For Summer”, a song that could be interpreted as a goodbye letter to old haunts and possibly forlorn relationships. Through this song, I picture the protagonist tearing down old posters and faded photographs in an attempt to move on with his life. The next track, “1983”, continues this implication where he “sets fire to the beaten path” in an attempt to find his niche in such a confusing world, leaving his old life behind. With a “Love Letter to New York”, our main man knows that he is “just a glimmer, just a shadow, just a moment I’m chasing after, just a mirror on a subway wall, and then I’m gone.”

And as our hero (or antihero) leaves his old life (and consequently his old love) in search of something new, he’s driving through the countryside in the pouring rain while “Dance With Old Habits” or “Maeby We Should Say Goodbye” plays in the background. Ultimately, our forlorn lovers meet up again through some good fortune or coincidence as “Delancey” provides the soundtrack. And when the couple agrees to reconcile, “Stay What You Are” plays in the background with lines like “I am what I am, so stay what you are.” As the movie ends, “The Getaway”, the last track and probably the most beautiful song on the album, plays as the credits roll.

The beauty of this album is the imagery it elicits. And while Berman may have had a different interpretation while writing these songs, it provides a lot of leeway for the listener to view them however he/she chooses. As a result, many of Divided Heaven’s fans will be able to relate to this album and could possibly view it as the soundtrack to their lives.