Posts Tagged ‘Denmark’

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Though the word “myrkur” means “darkness” in Icelandic, MYRKUR (aka Amalie Bruun)’s music is far from monochromatic. With its distinct sense of Nordic isolation, MYRKUR’s compositions are at once savage and delicate. Choral and folk elements abound, lending the music a mystical, legendary quality and an untouchable equilibrium between dark and light.

Amalie Bruun has always paved her own path, challenging underground preconceptions of heavy metal ever since the release of her debut Myrkur EP in 2014. Her first two full-length studio albums, 2015’s M and 2017’s Mareridt, recast black metal in the most personal yet expansive of terms, their blending of Amalie’s Danish folk roots with tempestuous internal struggles breathing new life into a subgenre whose followers can be rigidly possessive.

With the release of her new album, “Folkesange”, Amalie Bruun has set out to journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her childhood. Folkesange relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect.

After the nightmare-induced visions that wrought themselves throughout Mareridt, Folkesange offers an emotional sanctuary, a means to reconnect to something permanent and nature-aligned. It’s an awareness that’s become deeply bound to the album’s organic, regenerative spirit, from the opening track Ella’s heartbeat, frame-drum percussion and crystalline vocals that become the grounding for a rapt, richly textured awakening, to the gentle carousel of the closing Vinter, with its nostalgia-steeped connotations of seasonal, snowfall-bewitched awe.

Storytelling, rites of passage, and the invocation of a continuity that passes through time and generation are all part of folk music’s tapestry, and Folkesange taps into all these currents in their most essential form. In part a purist’s approach to the genre, free from over-interpretation and fusion, the use of traditional instruments throughout, such as nyckelharpa, lyre, and mandola offer a deeper, more tactile connection to their source, an unbroken line of communication back to the past.

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But the album is no museum piece; it resonates in the here and now, aided by the spacious production of Heilung member and musical collaborator Christopher Juul. Cinematic yet intimate, Folkesange exists in a state of boundless reverie, bourne by string-led drones, cyclical, elegiac rhythms and Amalie’s frictionless voice, all carrier signals for deep-rooted, ancestral memories, and associations felt on an elemental level.

It’s a binding of the otherworldly and the earthy that echoes the the subject matter of many of the tales themselves. Written by Amalie, Leaves Of Yggdrasil’s medieval cadences bind tragic love story and mythology, full of both fairytale wonder and deeply human foible. Tor i Helheim, its dreamily persistent rhythm redolent of both innocence and encroachment, is based on a poem from the Icelandic Eddas, relating a journey into the underworld of Hel where the sparse nature of the accompaniment becomes the medium that carries you along in its thrall.

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An immersive experience in its own right, but also belonging to a wider, pagan folk-based renaissance that has attracted a devoted following worldwide, Folkesange answers a need that has become ever more pressing in turbulent times. A zeroing in on a resonance that is both intrinsic and enduring, it’s a rediscovery of personal grounding, and an experience that reaches beyond culture to remind us of a shared, deeply rooted inheritance. A tuning fork that binds the personal and the universal, Folkesange is a reminder that the most transcendent experiences are those closest to home.

Released March 20th 2020

2020 Relapse Records

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Danish musician and songwriter Agnes Obel’s fourth LP, “Myopia”, comes out later this month, and the latest single she’s shared from it is the lovely instrumental interlude “Parliament of Owls.”

‘Parliament Of Owls’ is also one of the highlights of the Danish singer-songwriter’s highly anticipated new album Myopia, which is set for release through Deutsche Grammophon, Universal Music Group’s prestigious Yellow Label, and Blue Note in North America, on 21st February.

Following the same principles as with her previous albums (Philharmonics, Aventine and Citizen Of Glass), which she completed as a one-woman project in her own Berlin home studio, Obel has been under self-imposed creative isolation with the removal of all outside influences and distraction in the writing, recording and mixing process for Myopia.

“The albums I’ve worked on have all required that I build a bubble of some kind in which everything becomes about the album. For me the production is intertwined with the lyrics and story behind the songs,” says Obel. This is precisely what makes her music so compelling and the same is true with Myopia.

“Paradoxically, for me I need to create my own myopia to make music,” she says, speaking of the album’s creation, which saw Obel experimenting with techniques of recording processing, warping and pitching down vocals, strings, piano, celesta and lutheal piano, finding ways to melt these elements together to become one.

In support of Myopia, Agnes Obel will be playing across Europe on a headline tour in Spring 2020, and will be joining Dead Can Dance as their special guest across North America in April and May. Her itinerary kicks off with a sold-out show at London’s Rough Trade East on Myopia’s release date European dates also include two nights at Copenhagen’s KB Hallen (27 and 28 February) and a further London show at the Eventim Apollo on 9 April. Visit the artist’s official website for tickets and further information .

Associated Performer, Piano: Agnes Obel Studio Personnel,, Violin: John Corban , Cello: Kristina Koropecki Composer: Agnes Obel

Myopia is out on 21 February

Efterklang - Altid Sammen

Seven years after their last album release, Efterklang make a welcome return with a fifth studio recordAltid Sammen on 20th September.  Today, the Danish trio also announce European tour dates and share the single ‘Vi er uendelig’ with a video starring Helena Christensen.

In support of Altid Sammen, Efterklang will perform the album in its entirety the day after release during a sold-out headline show at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 21st September.  Efterklang will tour Europe throughout the year and into 2020. For a number of Efterklang’s newly announced headline shows, including the Barbican in London,

Altid Sammen album opener ‘Vi er uendelig’ (“We are infinite”) is released today digitally.  The accompanying visuals, directed by Andreas Koefoed (behind the band’s film The Ghost Of Piramida), and featuring a fellow Dane, the model and photographer Helena Christensen, are a homage to an iconic Johnny Hallyday TV performance in 1964.

Altid Sammen(meaning “always together”) is deep and sonorous, steeped in the sonic experimentation that has long been their trademark since Tripper, the Danes’ 2004 debut.  As bold and ambitious in scope as their last collection of songs, Piramida, Casper Clausen (vocals), Mads Brauer (synths, electronics) and Rasmus Stolberg (bass) have taken another creative U-turn, this time fusing baroque instrumentation with their signature expansive sound.

Efterklang’s last release, Piramidacentred around a ghost town in the Arctic, was a grand and all-encompassing project that spawned a movie, live album and a series of unforgettable shows (including a live debut at the Sydney Opera House).  Their final performance in Sønderborg – the southern Danish town where the band grew up – marked a closing of a chapter, for Piramida and for Efterklang.

“We needed a break from the album and touring routine, and we needed a break from Efterklang,” says Clausen. “After the Sønderborg show, things felt very exciting – and a bit scary too.  We could think freely, and move in new directions again, just focusing on the things that excited the 3 of us.”

The video is an homage to the video for Johnny Hallyday’s Le Penitentier from 1964

‘Vi er uendelig’ by Efterklang starring Helena Christensen and the band’s own Casper Clausen. Taken from the new album ‘Altid Sammen’. Out September 20th 2019 on 4AD/Rumraket,

ICEAGE – ” Balm Of Gilead “

Posted: November 26, 2018 in MUSIC
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Danish punks turned post-punks Iceage released their new single “Balm of Gilead” on Monday morning ahead of their North American tour co-headlining tour with Black Lips. The new song follows the release of Iceage’s excellent fourth album Beyondless, which came out in May. Tjhe band described the recent full-length as furthering “a fascination with goth Americana” and “the simplistic, emotive melodies of their earliest records and the explosive, multi-instrumentation of their newfound love of texture.”

From the split 7″ with Black Lips, available exclusively on tour.

Riotous guitars, insistent beats, and captivating melodies: this is the essence of The Oceans. Formed in 2014 by Copenhagen multi-instrumentalists Dan Joe & Linus Valdemar, the duo sounds like their city feels – a pulsing, paradoxical sea of chaos, noise, and serenity.

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Band Members
Linus Valdemar,
Dan Joe

Beyondless

Ever since their first LP, New Brigade, appeared at the beginning of this decade, the Danish quartet Iceage have been buzzed about in particular punk and indie circles.

We’ve heard four stellar singles from Iceage’s fourth studio album, “Beyondless”: “The Day the Music Dies,” “Pain Killer” featuring Sky Ferreira, “Take It All” and “Catch It.” “The Day the Music Dies” combines raunchy brass, frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s sassy lead vocals and driving keyboards into a theatrical, Rolling Stones-esque stomper with Rønnenfelt drowning in anxiety (“How can one kill an impulsion / When it’s still kicking and breathing”) and restlessness (“The future’s never starting / The present never ends”).

From the new album ‘Beyondless’ out May 4th on Matador Records

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Danish post-punk band Iceage have shared another new track from the band’s forthcoming  fourth studio album  Beyondless, due out on May 4th via Matador Records.

“Take It All” is the third single from their new album and it follows the release of “Catch It” and “Pain Killer,” the latter of which featured guest vocals from Sky Ferreira.
“Catch It” was the band’s first single since their 2013 album Plowing Into The Field of Love,

Their brand new single, “Take It All,” features marching drums, twinkling yet murky guitars and frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt mourning the state of the planet (“the world is a crime”) before becoming distracted and utterly mesmerized by the beauty of another human. Rønnenfelt sings as he is reluctantly entranced, “And men were dying for the death of the west / Oh yeah / And the last thing I ever wanted to see was these brand new sparkles / Coming from your ever loving God damned eyes.”

A statement described the sound and themes from the band’s new album, Beyondless:

The intoxication is consistent, this has always been drunk music, but it’s less a stumbling confusion and more a sturdy heartfelt confession with each record. They have finally caught up with their ambition. Their entire charm has always rested in their running ahead of themselves with blind confidence, taunting you to follow and you follow because wherever they are going is vital, is alive; on Beyondless they are treading with an assurance that is disarming, but there is no loss of charm, you are arm in arm now, whispering intimacies.

 

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Iceage are a four-piece band from Copenhagen, Denmark signed to Matador Records that make punk-rock of a darker tone than most. ‘Catch It’ is the band’s first release in four years which features a poetic lyrical delivery from lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt in his typical dingy fashion, chopped up with a contrasting guitar solo for added reflection.

On “Catch It,” he delivers one of his most emotive vocal performances yet. Over a simple, lurching chord progression, he groans and seethes into the mic, telling his story as with the wrinkles in his voice as with his words. Because there are only a few notes in the new single’s vocal melody, Rønnenfelt has more of a chance to modulate the texture of his voice. Rønnenfelt has the power to imbue even the simplest words with a distinctly dangerous aura: “You want it, you want it, you want it again/Why don’t you come and ask me?/I adore you, my friend,” he sings with what could be hint of malice. When “Catch It” slows to a false ending and then spins back up into a raucous, unhinged instrumental climax, it only makes his come-on sound like it could double as a threat.

Band Members
Dan Kjær Nielsen
Elias Bender Rønnenfelt
Johan Wieth
Jakob Tvilling Pless

LOD – ” Folder “

Posted: December 21, 2017 in MUSIC
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‘Folder’ is the self-titled track taken from Lød’s debut EP, released June 30th. Limited to 300 copies on vinyl, 75 of which are on cream vinyl and only available through the Tough Love store. The four original members of Lød formed after graduating school in Copenhagen, inspired by the post-punk that was prominent in the fervent, close-knit music community of the city. The first version of Lød was very much birthed in this same shadow: loud and heavy.

With time and addition of a fifth member, their sound began to rely less on distortion, foregoing aggression for a greater focus on melody and rhythm. Bands like LCD Soundsystem & Kraftwerk provided further inspiration and it became an ambition for Lød to create music that – while never taking the easy route – could make people dance. With their debut EP, released via London-based label Tough Love, they have very much achieved this. They’re a dance band, in the same way one might consider NEU a dance band.

The recording of Folder began in October 2016 with engineer Julius Pedersen, who helped the band shape tracks that had taken more than six months to write. The result is a 24-minute, four song debut EP sung in Danish. You might consider it uncompromising were the songs not so accessible.

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And despite their length, these are ‘songs’, with defined melodies and structure. Looping and monolithic, early commentators in their home country have noted a “trance-punk” aspect to their sound. Such nomenclature can be tedious, but it’s not a million miles from the truth. Bringing to mind the likes of Preoccupations in their similarly propulsive take on post-punk, Lød add a further glacial edge indebted to both early industrial and no wave.

Lød are:

Vocals: Søren Gade
Drums: Mads Uldum
Bass: Sebastian Kjær
Synt: Anders Andersen
Guitar: Erik Thøgersen

Communions, made up of brothers Martin & Mads Rehof and high school friends Jacob van Deurs Formann and Frederik Lind Köppen, began in 2014releasing their debut EP Cobblestones, followed by a 7″ & EP. These releases, as well as the forthcoming 7″, precede the band’s anticipated debut album & showcase Communions’ distinctive sound full of transcendent melodies, delicate guitar lines & emotive pop-leaning rock songs.

The quartet came together at Copenhagen’s infamous venue-cum-rehearsal space, Mayhem, they wilfully took chances with their music to see if they could arrive somewhere else. It was the band’s conviction that let them land here intact, and with a collection of songs that chart their journey.

“Blue” makes the most of everywhere Communions have been. And through all of this the stakes have changed, but the sensitivity and craft with which the band takes risks has bloomed. An eloquence now shines through, and you can take it or leave it. Discarding some of the moodiness found in their previous recordings, Blue tells us what was always natural to Communions. It’s about love, and taking chances, it’s about trying something, and it still doesn’t matter if there’s apprehension—it’s better when you’re too busy to notice. The youthful confusions and exaggerated sentiments are there, though this time it’s captured with a newfound maturity. It’s a change in perspective presented in pop.

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