I love not only this song, but this music video! The first thing I did after watching it was paint my nails black. Because that’s how I felt. The polytonality used throughout the song sounds like angst – never quite settling on a key. The guitar timbre is a bit reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s “Sunday” (especially around :54), however, the vocals in “Sunday” always match the key changes/chord progressions. That’s a cool music video, too, but mostly because it’s bizarre. The only time the chord progressions sort of fit with the vocals in “Black Hearted Love” is during the chorus (around 1:18), but even still, with the extra noise coming from the guitar, it’s hard to really feel “settled” in that key.
What I love most about this song is that when they verse starts, you honestly have no idea where the vocals will start (musically). It’s surprising! At the very least I would say the entire song maintains a bitonal sound, until the very end (around 3:25) where the vocals and key sync up at last. The other thing, which usually bothers me a lot, is that PJ’s vocals are flat (particularly in the second verse, around 2:09). Somehow it works, though!
What should sound like a polytonal mess turns out to be a masterpiece. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.