Aztek a rising Aalborg, Denmark-based prog rock act can trace their origins back to 2015. when the members of the band Benjamin Vestergaard (vocals), Michael Buchardt (drums), Rasmus Lykke (bass), Minik Lundblad (guitar) and Jeppe Søndergaard (guitar) —met and bonded over their shared interest and love of experimental rock and prog rock. And since their formation, the Aalborg-based has developed and honed an adventurous yet accessible sound, centered around traditional rock instrumentation, atmospheric synths and Vestergaard’s plaintive vocals, which helps to imbue their material with an achingly melancholy air.
The Danish quintet’s experimental and ambitious, full-length debut, 2016’s Dream Dealer, led to the band playing region’s biggest venues and festivals, including Way Up North, Nibe Festival and SPOT Festival. Building upon the momentum, the act released their sophomore album Perfect Imbalance in 2018. Over the past year, the members of Aztek have released a handful of attention-grabbing singles that included The Bends-era Radiohead-like Darkest Hour and the Violent Light-era Milagres-like “I’ll Be Waiting,” which reportedly will appear on the act’s forthcoming EP This Is Not Who I Wanted To Be.
Aztek’s latest single, the Anders Søndergaard-produced, “I Am Not Who I Wanted To Be (I.A.M.N.W.I.W.T.B.)” is a slow-burning and shimmering track, centered around a gorgeous melody and a soaring hook. While the track sonically reminds me of the brooding, pop atmospherics of JOVM mainstays Palace Winter. the track as the band explains is about losing yourself in a relationship.
“I have walked around in a dream I did not dare walk sup from again. A doze where it felt as if I was constantly one step behind myself, until I finally had to ask: Where did I get off?’ the band’s Benjamin Vestergaard says of the feelings that inspired the new single. Like its immediate predecessor, “I Am Not Who I Wanted To Be” was recorded remotely, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions.