Subconsciously dipping into the best new music across Northern Europe, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood explores the darker regions of Denmark’s alternative rock and other Scandinavian treats.
Single of the Week
Cathedrals and Cars – The Concierge
A blast of Bury brilliance, surging far into eastern Europe, sleeping with all of their friends ‘at the Grand Budapest’.
After some difficulty with band members, they’ve reinvented themselves with belligerence by their side. Holding together an abrupt dose of sinister alternative rock that combines technicalities that hark back to Television shot through with a youthful innocence.
This passionate effort rockets itself a place as our Single of the Week.
Black Flowers Cafe – Mintaka ii
Flower power pioneers hailing from southern Italian province Cosenza cut straight to the chase with this flowing track.
Floor toms bubble providing a rumbling undercurrent for an onslaught of riffs that bend and whirl in a Maccabees Given To The Wild manner; divinely catchy yet otherworldly.
Palace Winter – New Ghost
Icy cool and expertly polished, Danish duo Palace Winter’s New Ghost places you on the edge of familiarity.
A straight up, acoustic, Kurt Vile-esque track is transformed by swirling blasts of synth and a riff that crystallises in your mind. Pulsing both an icy jet and a heartfelt warmness, the track reaches a smooth synthesis.
DIIV – Mire (Grant’s Song)
It’s been an epiphanic few months for Zachary Cole Smith and his fresh outlook on life is transcending into his music, that is not to say he isn’t still dabbling in the darker depths of life.
The Brooklyn four-piece branch out from their usual shimmering riffs, creating a track that’s as close as you’re going to get to a Sonic Youth reunion.
Teaming with guitar layers that whine nostalgically and a vocal that is more Kim Gordon than anyone else, ‘I was blind but now I see’ Smith whispers amid the massacre of unorthodox melody.
Barns Courtney – Glitter and Gold
As princely as the song title suggests, Barns Courtney’s latest pounds and thumps proudly with its chest puffed out.
His distinct sound earned him a support slot for the mighty Blur and the boy, oozing with talent is surely bound for equally dignified thrones.
Radiation City – Juicy
As deliciously sweet as an Animal Collective number with a punchy backbeat to keep the candied melodies appropriately afloat.
Just one hit of that ‘la la la’ chorus is all it takes, but i’ve a feeling that it may prove a little sickly before long, so a little word of warning: perhaps enjoy in small doses.
The Holy Tongue – Downward Collider
A driving force that haunts and unnerves before flying full pelt into an epic spine tingling refrain and chorus that rewards like the final destination of a long journey.
A simple, powerful bass line carries a haunting choir on its shoulders while a distinctly accented vocal poses its baritone weight firing a pulse of adrenaline into this weeks playlist.
The Holy Tongue secure their place as my favourite Norwegian band, so see what you think, and check out their art work while you’re at it.
Patrik Jakubowski – Simple Pleasures
This one had me truly mesmerised, proving what magic can be made with just a guitar and vocals. Combing an air of Luke Lalonde (Born Ruffians) and the dust and glue of Bob Dylan in a sweet track with meandering melodies and some exquisite finger picking.
Perhaps i’m easily captivated but what looks like a twirling kitchen roll tube and a flash light make a perfect visual accompaniment for this slow burning effort.
Pinemen – That Certain Flavour
As we’re developing a taste for northern European bands and this has subconsciously become a playlist dedicated to the region, perhaps you won’t mind if prescribe some Swedish surf rock to bring you up from the darker depths of some of the more sinister tracks featured above.
Pinemen bob happily on a jovial wave across the Baltic Sea that sends ripples back across the water to the likes of Growlers and Allah Las. This one’s a scorching ray for you amidst the bleak, long winter ahead. Sorry for bringing that up…
Lahfawndah – Tan
It wouldn’t be a Singles Club without at least one outrageously wacky track where you wonder what cocktail of drugs someone has to be on to create it.
On a first listen this may well be the case, but this one is oddly infectious and may take a few listens. Despite its stop/start tendencies, the gun shot beats and its trance-y undertones create something as unique as the the choice of dance move in the video, come to think of it I’m not really sure how else you could dance to it.
Stick it on and get arty with your moves.
Chronoboros – Bison Unit
I felt it was about time to throw in some more of the heavy stuff, so what else could be more fitting than a dose of Greek sludge metal.
One of five riotous tracks that transition between fiddly bass utterances that are blown out of the water before you can say Plato, prep your ear drums for this one, but otherwise, enjoy!
Sarah Neufeld – The Ridge
Canadian violinist whose collaboration resume shimmers, having toured with Arcade Fire as a core member and later as an additional musician, as a stamp of approval its pretty tough to top.
The Ridge is an epic construction, recalling Beach House’s richness in melodic beauty, soothing and astounding for a solid 8 minutes. Try this one before bed.
Josh Michaels – Like The Rest
With a vocal power that reaches far beyond many, having been trained in Italian Opera, Josh Michaels is trying his hand at some euphoric pop that can only be described as ‘poperatic’.
Pounds of organic piano is neatly mellowed out by an elegant organ and some prudent musings from Michaels ‘Don’t be like the rest’ he urges, ‘tell yourself you can do this’.
Sadly shorter than I’d have hoped, and Michaels could definitely have added a further few minutes of his uplifting, sophisticated anthem. I’m sure he’s saving it for a later date though. Get this man an orchestra and a packed out ballroom, he’s aiming big.
BOOTS – C.U.R.E
Ahead of the release of AQUARIA on 13th November, the Beyonce producer BOOTS completes a trio of singles with C.U.R.E.
It’s a disconcerting piece with sinister grooves interlocking with whirrs and clanks for a taste of urban decay on a bedrock of hip hop.
One can only speculate what inspired the video; a tripped out Adult Swim Toonami clip that follows some jelly cubes through a dystopian workplace before we’re bombarded with dark, disturbing psychedelic visuals. Almost how I’d imagine a fiendish, drugged up nightmare to look in the minds of one of the the Gorillaz.
Victories At Sea – Bloom
With many kind words being flung their way from the likes of NME and The Guardian, Victories At Sea’s winning streak continues.
Taken from their debut album Everything Forever, Bloom hums with dark undertones while a volley of uplifting hooks and riffs sends the track soaring far beyond the realms of mere disco indie to something far more insightful.
I’ve never driven in my life, but if I could, this would have made its way into my ‘driving at night’ playlist alongside Nightcrawl by Kavinsky.