New Audio: Introducing the Sprawling and Melancholy Jam Band-like Sounds of Denmark’s Captain of Sorrow

Hans-Christian Søgaard Andersen is a Søro, Denmark-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer, who was best known as a member of renowned Danish band Racetrack Babies. As Andersen explains in press notes, “that band broke up as we were working on this album, so I thought it would provide some continuity to our fans. During the recording, our drummer Henrik Svendsen started calling me the captain of sorrow, because the songs were full of melancholy, so that became the name of the new band.”

Andersen and his new, Captain of Sorrow collaborators, which included Søren Hansen (guitar), Hans Madsen (bass) and the aforementioned Henrik Svenden (drums), wrote, recorded and produced their debut album Racetrack Babies in a wild burst of spontaneous creativity — and as the story goes, Andersen and his collaborators wanted to capture the diverse sounds that Andersen was hearing in his head. “Every song has the title of a band I once considered using, so I wanted them to sound different, as if it were 11 different groups.” The quartet started the album with some free form jamming and as Andersen recalls, “we listened to each song once, played it three or four times, then recorded it live. I gave them [the backing band] a free hand to crate their own arrangements but didn’t let them get too familiar with the songs. I wanted a rough sound, so you would know it was human beings playing the music.”

“Park the Van” Racetrack Babies‘ first single is a noisy and sprawling arrangement that finds Andersen and his bandmates nodding at noise punk, grunge and indie rock simultaneously as the band pair power chords, sinuous bass chords, stuttering and thundering drumming and anthemic hooks within a classic grunge rock song structure featuring alternating loud and quiet sections; but the major difference to me is that the band manages to add a mournful yet oose, jam band-like take to a familiar sound and aesthetic.