With his musical project Horse Head, Chris Thorne has pioneered the fusing of emo, pop-punk, and indie elements with hip-hop. Initially gaining distinction as a producer, Horse Head quickly became well known for his distinctive vocal delivery. His poignant lyrics resonate with listeners as he sings about personal experiences with loneliness, depression, and heartbreak.
As a child growing up in Orange County, California, Horse Head would draw fantasy CD covers and write imaginary song lyrics. It was this early infatuation with music that pushed Horse Head to teach himself the guitar, vocals, and production in FL Studio. As a teenager, he also became the frontman of various bands, most notably forming the shoegaze/indie pop trio Tan Dollar in 2010.
In 2013, Horse Head began to deviate from performing in groups, producing various hip-hop beat tapes instead. A year later, Horse Head met fellow producer Nedarb in Los Angeles. One night, Horse Head came across an instrumental of Nedarb’s which contained an emo guitar sample by Silverstein. Instantly hooked by this unique approach to hip-hop production, Horse Head sang over the beat, releasing it as the track “Numb” in 2014.
At this same time Horse Head joined the underground musical collective Thraxxhouse, connecting with artists Cold Hart, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, and Lil Tracy. Realizing they all shared a particular interest in blending emo, pop-punk, and indie with rap, the frequent collaborators quickly formed their own niche collective: GothBoiClique. As a member of the renowned group, Horse Head released a triad of projects in 2016, including True Blue, Celebrity Crush, and Lock & Key. After Lil Peep joined GothBoiClique that same year, Horse Head produced numerous tracks for the late artists’ breakthrough mixtapes Crybaby and Hellboy, and also featured as a vocalist on their notable singles “Girls” and “Stop the Car.”
In 2017, Horse Head issued his independently released album This Mess Is My Mess, which solely produced by Fish Narc. After having a relatively quiet 2018, Horse Head announced his debut studio album We Had Our Fun. Slated for release in the summer of 2019, the project features live instrumentation by Yawns as Horse Head returns to his alternative indie roots. — Jack Angell