Tag: Copenhagen Denmark

Although he can trace the origins of his musical career to a lengthy stint as the frontman of a local punk rock band,  the Copenhagen-born and-based singer/songwriter Mattis Jakobsen has begun to see both national and international for his solo recording project MATTIS, a decided and radical sonic departure from his previous work; in fact, if you had been frequenting this site last year, you may recall that I wrote about the Danish pop artist’s debut single “Loverboy,” a “viking soul” track that features a haunting spectral yet low-end heavy production with tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, hand clap-led percussion, brief, smoky blasts of guitar and an infectious, club banging hook paired with Jakobsen’s sultry and achingly tender vocals, capturing a heartsick narrator, who has fallen into a deep, emotional and spiritual abyss in which he’s desperately alone and disconnected.

“The Chain,” the up-and-coming Danish artist’s second single will further cement his growing reputation for crafting melancholy and heartbreaking pop anthems; however, the new single finds him is an old fashioned torch song that finds Jakobsen expanding upon his sound as it features a stomping and insistent beat with hand clap-led percussion and a propulsive baseline while lyrically, the song features ominous and sinister lyrics focusing on a relationship in which both sides may have clandestine and uncertain motives. And throughout the song, its narrator essentially tells his love object, that he shall soon break the chain that binds them together; that he will move on” — but interestingly enough while doing so, the song managed to remind me of a sinister and dysfunctional version of Billy Ocean‘s “Caribbean Queen” with an equally razor sharp and infectious hook.





Xavier Bacash is a Copenhagen, Denmark-based producer and electronic music artist, who writes and records with the moniker Sonny — and with “Some Velvet Morning,” the latest single off his recently released C.E. EP, Bacash’s sound features elements of retro-futuristic jazz fusion and slick electronica in a way that will likely remind some listeners of Floating Points, Bonobo and others, as the composition is a cinematic and elegantly lush soundscape featuring live, drumming from frequent collaborator Jim Rindfleish, a soaring string sample and subtly arpeggiated synths.

Unsurprisingly, the song is reportedly inspired by and evokes a breathtaking sunrise, just before a long trip out of the city and into the country.





New Video: The Vibrant Visuals for Up-and-Coming Danish Pop Artist Ea Kaya’s Latest Single “Remedy”

Born Christine Kiberg, Ea Kaya is an up-and-coming Copenhagen, Denmark pop artist, who amassed 1 million YouTube views by the time she turned 15. Kiberg continued to hone her craft with stints in a soul and funk band and an electro pop project before deciding to go solo. And with the release of her debut single “Don’t Complicate It,” the up-and-coming Danish pop artist garnered praise and attention from the likes of Red Bull, Scandipop, Soundvenue, The Line of Best Fit, as well as comparisons to internationally recognized Scandinavian pop artists such as Tove Lo, MØ, Zara Larsson and others. 

Kiberg’s latest single “Remedy” is a slickly produced, radio friendly pop confection that features stuttering drum programming, boom bap beats, sharp, arpeggiated synths and an infectious ear worm of a hook paired with Kiberg’s self-assured and sultry vocals in a woozy, lovesick song that focuses on a toxic and co-dependent love — but with a startlingly unadulterated honesty, as the song’s narrator openly admits that she’s tied into a dysfunctional and fucked up relationship. As Kilberg explains in press notes, “‘Remedy’ is a song about toxic love. In a relationship, it’s rare that both parties want each other equally. As soon as you start catching feelings for someone, you can’t help but get a little addicted. If you’re down, he’s able to make you forget your problems for a little while and he becomes a remedy to your dark sides. It’s risky though, because if he finds out, he might take advantage of the power he has over you…”

The recently released video employs the use of vibrant colors in several different settings — a track and field course, a commuter train, the woods, a sunlit studio, a brightly colored mural as a juxtaposition to the aching nature of the song’s lyrics. 


New Video: Wander Around NYC with Copenhagen-based Retro-futuristic Electro Pop Duo TAN

Comprised of Mathias Riss and Andreas Bengsten, the members of Copenhagen, Denmark-based act TAN have spent sings in a number of post punk and psych rock projects which makes their current collaboration a marked sonic departure for them with their sound, as you’ll hear on latest single “PANORAMA,” leaning towards the chilly retro-futusitic synth-based compositions of John Carpenter, Umberto and countless others; however, the Copenhagen-based electro pop act’s sound manages to subtly nod towards early house music. 

Interestingly, enough the song and video were created at all night rooftop party in Brooklyn. Inspired by the skyline and the infinite sense of possibility of NYC, they ditched the party armed with an old 80s VHS video recorder, with which the duo dressed entirely in black bodysuits explore the city, hitting up bars, riding the subway and wandering through Times Square  and chatting with locals — and typical for New York, no one bats an eye towards these oddly attired strangers. 

With the the release of their debut album Freedom last year, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based electro pop duo Wangel, comprised of Peter Wangel (vocals) and  Kasper Ejlerskov Leonhardt (production) received attention across Denmark, the European Union and elsewhere for a sound that paired Leonhardt’s moody and atmospheric production with Wangel’s dramatic monotone, and in some way, the Danish electro pop duo’s sound reminds me quite a bit of Majical Cloudz and Beach House. Unsurprisingly, the duo’s sophomore effort Reasons will further cement the duo’s burgeoning reputation for crafting moody and atmospheric pop rooted around Wangel’s deeply personal songwriting: in this case, the album’s material draws from the work renowned, multi-award winning Norwegian autobiographical novelist Karl Ove Knausgard and his own personal experience — and although the album reportedly finds the duo subtly expanding upon the sound that first won them attention, as the album features songs that draw from hip-hop and contemporary pop; however, album track “Reason” pairs Wangel’s sonorous baritone vocals singing lyrics that reveal a novelist’s attention to psychological detail, as it captures the narrator’s innermost thoughts and observations in a fully-fleshed out fashion. Leonhardt pairs that with a moody and atmospheric production consisting of slowly cascading synths, swirling electronics and metronomic-like drum programming and as a result, it gives the song a hauntingly uneasy vibe underneath the song’s painterly quality.






New Video: The Cinematic and Haunting Visuals for Up-and-Coming Danish Pop Artist MATTIS’ “Loverboy”

Although he can trace the origins of his musical career to being the frontman of a local punk rock band, the Copenhagen-born and-based Mattis Jakobsen and his solo recording project MATTIS finds the former punk rocker going through a radical sonic departure; in fact, his debut single “Loverboy,” which Jakobsen has described as “viking soul” consists of a hauntingly spectral but decidedly low-end heavy production featuring tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, hand clap-led percussion and a wisp of smoke-like guitar line, and an infectious, club banging hook paired with Jakobsen’s sultry and tenderly aching vocals expressing a desperately yearning longing for something but not quite finding whatever it is that could fill the hole in your heart and soul. And as a result, the song captures a narrator, who is heartsick and and who has hopelessly fallen into an emotional and spiritual abyss that has led to a profound and unnerving loneliness. 

“‘Loverboy’ is a personal story of mine, from around 3 years ago, where I had broken up with my girlfriend at that time, lost my apartment and was at a crossroad musically and in life generally,” Jakobsen explains in press notes. “I lived in basements, studios and friends’ couches. I didn’t feel any purpose. I didn’t feel connected with anyone. I felt alone, kinda like a wolf that is no longer part of the pack.” 

Directed by Emil Kahr, the recently released and gorgeously cinematic video for “Loverboy” was shot over two days last month, with the first day being shot in Copenhagen and the second day shot at the Wade Sea, a Danish landmark. The video opens with the 6’8″ Jakobsen striding purposefully along the beach beneath growing and darkening storm clouds with the wind whipping around him. He’s the only figure you see on the beach, which further emphasizes his loneliness and then the video suddenly cuts to a beautiful woman who while being distinct is vague and just out of reach, which suggests that this woman is a lingering ghost, haunting the video’s lonely protagonist. And while being symbolic, the video viscerally emphasizes the themes and emotions within the song in an accessible and haunting fashion. 

Comprised of Christoffer Hein and Dracut Lugalzagosi, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based duo Mercyfox started collaborating together last year, and the result was a sound that drew from The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and LCD Soundsystem — although their latest single “Dead White Doves” is a breakneck, rousingly anthemic and noisy track that manages to remind me quite a bit of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Radio 4 with a dance floor stomp; but underneath the surface, the song’s lyrics vacillates between hope and despair, and as the band explains “This is our best attempt at making a sunny as hell track. Even though weird and violent things are going on in the world, we mustn’t forget to party hard and spread loads of love in the sun.”


New Video: Danish-born Los Angeles-Based Artist Dinner Releases Americana-Inspired Visuals for “Un-American Girl”

Anders Rhedin is a Danish-born, Los Angeles, CA-based producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who may be best known for a brief stint collaborating with Danish-born singer/songwriter and guitarist  Jannis Noya Makrigiannis in Copenhagen -based Choir of Young Believers, an act that had multiple chart topping hits in Denmark and was named “Best New Act” in 2009’s Danish Music Awards. Since relocating to Los Angeles several years ago, Rhedin started his own solo recording project Dinner, which received attention with the release of his debut EP collection and his full-length debut Psychic Lovers. 

With his sophomore effort New Work, which is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through renowned indie label Captured Tracks Records, Rhedin had a desire to do things differently.  “I just needed to get back to the approach I used when I was still self-release cassettes back in Copenhagen,” Rhedin explains in press notes. “I spent way too much time on the previous record. I was sitting in front of a computer screen alone for seven months working on it, obsessing over it. This time, I wanted to work very fast in order think less. I wanted to collaborate more. I hoped that other people’s presence would keep my perfectionism in check.” Rhedin enlisted Regal Degal’s and Ducktails’ Josh Da Costa to co-produce New Work, and the album features guest spots from Tonstartssbandht’s Andy White, and unlike the previous album, an array of American-born and-based musicians including Blouse’s Charlie Hilton, Infinite Bisous’ and Connan Mockasin’s Rori McCarthy, The Paranoyds’ Staz Lindes and Sean Nicholas Savage. The recording sessions found Rhedin, Da Costa and company working during the late night, off-hours at a  studio in an industrial section of downtown Los Angeles, with material being recorded on the spot — with little preparation time. “A lot of my favorite music is American. I thought it would be fun to go a little bit less Euro on this one,” Rhedin says in press notes. “I’m pretty Euro by myself, some might say. I wanted to add a different color.” 

In between sessions, Rhedin recoded and overdubbed material in his apartment with a 4 track recorder from the early 80s. We did very little editing, we just tried to record what was there. You’ll hear a lot of first-takes on the record,” Rhedin informs us in press notes. “The best part of the process was driving home early in the morning though the empty streets of LA, listening to the night’s recordings. Because it was such an immediate experience.”

Reportedly, New Work and its first single “Un-American Woman” was inspired a by William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell” and Rhedin’s own personal experiences. “‘Un-American Woman’ is a song I wrote just before I stopped going out, just before I stopped sleeping around with woman,” the Danish-born, Los Angeles-based producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist says in press notes. “The song seems to be about disillusionment and a fear of being stuck in a certain lifestyle. But it also also touches upon the potential transformational aspects of ‘bad things.’ Nothing’s black or white, good or bad. There is just life-force moving. A constant movement. ‘The road of excess leads to the place of wisdom’ in the words of Blake.” 

Sonically speaking, New Work’s first single manages to be a mischievously anachronistic and effortless meshing of Joy Division and The Smiths-like post-punk, 60s guitar pop and psych pop with Around the World in a Day-era Prince, as the song manages to possesses a similar moody Romanticism paired with an ability to craft a slick and infectious hook. 

Interestingly, the recently released visuals for the song were shot in and around Las Vegas and manages to evoke the song’s haunting loneliness and swooning Romanticism; but interestingly enough the video features Mac DeMarco’s brother Hank dancing with his ballet troupe, and a sequence featuring a bunch of young people roughhousing in a seedy motel room. It’s decidedly American but from an outsider’s point of view. 

Copenhagen, Denmark-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Brian Batz has received both national and international attention with the release of four full-length albums with his solo recording project Sleep Party People, and as you’ll hear on “The Sun Will Open Its Core,” the latest single off his soon-to-be-released new album Lingering, Batz specializes in a breezy psych rock/psych pop that’s reminiscent of Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT and early 80s synth pop and New Wave — in particular, think of The Buggles‘ “Video Killed the Radio Star;” however, underneath the hook laden song’s breeziness is a bilious bitterness, frustration and growing doubt of humanity’s empathy and kindness.  As Batz explains “I got really frustrated and emotionally upset when the whole refugee debate in Denmark was at its highest. I felt extremely indignant in terms of how society dealt with this problem. Normally I don’t go into politics, especially not in my music, but this was kind of inevitable.”

“I don’t get how people can reject human beings, who are fleeing from their destroyed homes and cities. What if it happened to us? Wouldn’t we do the same and ask for help and do whatever we felt necessary? We should be able to help each other even if we don’t agree on religion, politics or what we eat and wear. It puzzles me that some people out there can’t see the reason in helping. I had to write a song about this. Period.” And as a result, the song feels like an urgent plea that we all can — and must — do better, to help anyone in need; that it’s the truly human thing to do.





New Video: Denmark’s Shocking White Return with a Noise Rock-Leaning, New Single Paired with 120 Minute MTV-era Visuals

Late last month, I wrote about the Aarhus, Denmark-based indie rock/noise rock trio Shocking White. Currently comprised of founding member Jan Petersen (guitar, vocals), along with Rune Randlev (bass) and Marco Bøgehøj (drums), the Danish trio have released four albums in which they’ve experimented with their sound, writing energetic post punk, nihilistic No Wave and feral garage rock primarily rooted in noise rock. And although the band was initially founded back in 2009, the Danish trio has started to receive attention both across Denmark and elsewhere across Scandinavia as they’ve played at some of the region’s biggest festivals, including Recession Festival, Pop Revo, Mejlgade for Mangfoldighed and Spot Festival. Adding to a growing international presence, the band has toured Denmark with Norwegian space rock act Kal-El and Canadian avant-garde punk act Alpha Strategy, and 2016’s “Tweet Scientists” 7 inch, which Copenhagen-based label Tigermilk Records released. Along with that, the Danish trio will be included on a forthcoming compilation featuring internationally-based alt rock/indie rock bands.

Ghosting, Shocking White’s fourth studio album was released last month and the album continues their ongoing collaboration with producer Rasmus Bredvig, who along with the members of the band recorded the album in 3 days at Aarhus-based Tapetown Studio. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about the album’s first single, “Into The Sun,” a single that managed to sound as though it drew influence from 80s grunge rock — i.e., Pixies, Sonic Youth and Nirvana — as the Danish trio pairs power chords played through reverb and distortion pedals with a rousingly anthemic hook, a propulsive and chugging rhythm section and a playfully pop-leaning sense of melody while thematically focusing on a profound and palpable fear of death that gives the song an underlying sense of menace and unease. The album’s second and latest single “Far From Bloom,” continues in a similar vein; however, the single also manages to be reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, but with an anthemic hook.

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the video for “Into The Sun,” the recently released video for the song features footage shot in color-treated film negatives which create an otherworldly, psychedelic feel to the proceedings while being reminiscent of the thousands of videos I’ve watched during 120 Minutes-era MTV.