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INTERVIEW: Bob Hund at Roskilde Festival 2015

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Two years ago, Swedish indie rockers Bob Hund sold their instruments at an auction. That didn’t stop them from signing up for a set at Roskilde. We spoke to singer Thomas Öberg before the band’s Roskilde performance about where they got their instruments for the set and what kind of mischief Bob Hund is getting into after all these years.

AUDIO: First Hate – “Trojan Horse”

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It’s been a busy year for Copenhagen synth-pop duo First Hate, on the back of releasing their self-titled debut EP last September they’ve been on the road with two high profile names from the Danish music scene supporting both Trentemøller and Iceage. After several showcase concerts in the spring of 2015 they soon became one of the most hyped upcoming acts in the country and with fresh news today (September 15th) that the duo have just come out of the studio after recording their second EP, this will only add to the hype as we go into 2016. They’ve gave us a taste of things to come with new single “Trojan Horse” presumably from said EP, which is set for release spring 2016.

Along with the singles release comes live dates for a mini European tour this fall, where Soho Rezanejad will be supporting them on select dates. See the live dates below the audio.

Listen to “Trojan Horse” below:

Live tour dates:
2/10 – HELSINKI, Kuudes Linja ±
3/10 – STOCKHOLM, Solna HQ ±
7/10 – HAMBURG, Molotow
8/10 – BERLIN, Fluxbau
9/10 – PARIS, Under Club ±
11/10 – COPENHAGEN, Mayhem ±
± w/Soho Rezanejad

PREVIEW: Sunn O))), Studio 2, DR Koncerthuset

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SUNN O))) photo by Gisele Vienne

On Saturday, August 15, Studio 2 in DR Koncerthuset will likely be the loudest place in Copenhagen. If you are open to musical experiences that are a tiny bit more demanding than [insert almost any band name here], it’s also likely to be the best place to be on Saturday. Why? At sometime around 21.00 Studio 2 will start filling up with dry-ice and when the fog thickens Sunn O))) will appear. Named after a guitar amplifier Sunn – which has the logo O))) – Sunn O))) has been rumbling the underground for 16 years with their own special breed of drone metal and released six studio albums. They are also a band of many collaborations.

Last year’s unlikely yet in some ways obvious collaboration with Scott Walker made many end of year lists (including ours). The album, Soused, was released to near universal acclaim, despite virtually non-existent promotional support on the part of the creators. Scott Walker famously hasn’t performed live since 1978 and his public appearances are close to none (in a rare interview with The Quietus, he opens up about the possibility of performing Soused live, so we’re holding our breaths, however ill-advised that might be).

There are still a few tickets left at 295kr (including fees). You can buy them here. If you’re willing to risk your eardrums (though of course we recommend earplugs), it promises to be an unforgettable evening.

Listen to the new album by Chelsea Wolfe – ‘Abyss’

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First time we heard Chelsea Wolfe was at Smash! Bang! Pow!’s minifestival Wasn’t Born To Follow at Pumpehuset. We where captivated. Seeing her at Roskilde Festival earlier this year left us with no doubt: Chelsea Wolfe is a must-see performer.

Her fourth album,’Pain Is Beauty’, paved the way to a wider audience. It’s an atmospheric masterpiece that manages to appeal to both listeners of indie music as well as fans of more extreme genres. On August 7. 2015 she will be releasing her new album “Abyss”, but if you can’t wait (we certainly can’t) you can stream it below via NPR.

Chelsea Wolfe is currently touring the United States, but she will be returning to Europe this Fall. We will be first in queue when she plays Loppen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

VIDEO: Soho Rezanejad – ‘Everyday’s Another Holiday’

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In June she debuted with dark synth pop hit ‘Idolatry‘ which we learn today will be the title of her soon to be released EP, set for release on October 12th. Rezanejad has hit us with another summer anthem with the cutesy bro/sis-mance video for new single ‘Everyday’s Another Holiday’, the video was co-direct between Rezanejad and performance-artist Madeleine Kate and features in a familiar face in First Hate’s Anton Falck Gansted.

Watch the video for ‘Everyday’s Another Holiday’ below:

Catch Soho Rezanejad live this weekend at Trailerpark Festival in Copenhagen (30.07.2015 // 22:00 // Rebel Stage)

VIDEO: Shadow Age – ‘Vexed’

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Today (July 27th), Copenhagen producer Benjamin Fischermann aka Shadow Age releases his self-titled debut EP, featuring singles ‘Shutter’ and ‘Vexed’. The latter was put out no less than a week ago and today we received the video for the track. Shot in Copenhagen and co-directed by Kevin Verner and Benjamin Fischermann, it features three souls who are in separate locations across the city, found all racing for the same spiral staircase before gazing into the nothingness.

Watch the video for ‘Vexed’ below:

You can catch Shadow Age live:

30.07.2015 – Trailerpark Festival, Copenhagen
07.08.2015 – New Note Festival, Hillerød

VIDEO: Joanna Gruesome Interview at Roskilde

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Welsh indie poppers Joanna Gruesome have had a busy 2015:  They’ve released a new album, Peanut Butter, original singer Alanna Mcardle left the band, and they’ve gained two new vocalists in Kate Stonestreet and Roxy Brennan. The new line-up played their second-ever show on the Pavilion Stage at Roskilde, and they answered a few questions for us before running off to see Nicki Minaj.

Watch the video below to hear their thoughts about the new record, nudity at Roskilde, and the genres of imaginary bands with pun names:

AUDIO: Shadow Age – ‘Vexed’

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Shadow Age is back with another glimpse of his dark ambient soundscape, this time it comes in the form of new single ‘Vexed’ and showcases a slightly lighter side to the project in comparison to his first offering ‘Shutter’. Along with the new single comes the announcement of self-titled debut EP which will be released via Copenhagen label Native Of The North on July 27th.

Listen to ‘Vexed’ below:

EP track listing:

Live dates:
30.07.2015 – Trailerpark Festival, Copenhagen, DK
06.08.2015 – New Note Festival, Copenhagen (Hillerød), DK

Roskilde Festival: Day 4

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Girl Band (Pavilion)

There are some bands that are compelling for the racket they make rather than the performance they give, and Girl Band are one such band. The four boys from Dublin play loud, blistery post-punk of questionable aptitude — not a lot of proper chords, and lots of beer bottle slides — with curiously serene expressions on their faces. Their singer has perfected both a throaty yowl and a pose where he grabs hold of the mic stand and pops his hip at a sharp upright angle. Aside from his constant, aggressive tugging at his shirt, it’s all very casual. Even the between-song chatter betrays a friendliness or at least an as-yet undeveloped ability to talk to the audience without breaking character. But it doesn’t matter how chilled out they look when they play or harmless they seem when they talk when there’s a constant thud-thud-thud making people give themselves whiplash while standing in place. — AF

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Joanna Gruesome (Pavilion)

To the casual observer Joanna Gruesome’s lightning-fast set at Pavilion is simply a welcome moment of fun, noisy jangle-pop from an impressively down-to-earth band. But simply counting the people on stage is indication enough that something up: billed as a five piece, today Joanna Gruesome consists of six people. Behind the feedback and sweet melodies there is the story of frontwoman Alanna McArdle’s departure of the ban–citing mental health issues–and the subsequent inclusion of Kate Stonestreet and Roxy Brennan. But other than being a little cramped on the small stage, everyone is working well together. The three vocals work well, melding sweetness with harshness in tandem with the guitars. Later on in the day we learn that this is their second-ever gig as a six-piece, which explains some of the initial awkwardness, but mainly proves the dedication every band member, new and old, to succeeding in spite of adversity. — CC

chelsea wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe (Gloria)

The slightly oppressive darkness of Gloria seems to suit Chelsea Wolfe, adding another surreal texture to her brooding, quasi-doom compositions. Drawing from material from her 2013 album, Pain is Beauty, Wolfe and her band do a good job of making you forget the sun outside. Guitars drone and snarl under her delicate vocals, while the drumming is absolutely impeccable. On songs like “House of Metal” they appear to contract and expand the time of the song, resulting in a hypnotising series of rhythmic waves.

Wolfe herself is on the quiet and reserved side, thanking the audience a couple of times, but otherwise remaining within her aloof persona. Then again, hers is an act that draws precisely on that theatricality. A real standout moment is the song “Iron Moon”, which manages to sound more like PJ Harvey than most recent PJ Harvey records do. It sounds like a lazy analogy, but those vocals are pure Polly Jean, and at any rate, the guitar tone alone is enough to earn Chelsea Wolfe a reputation as a must-see performer. — CC

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Deafheaven (Pavilion)

As the bassline of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”—the runt of the White Album, and possibly the worst thing McCartney has ever done—wafts over from Orange stage, Deafheaven have come to provide some welcome relief. The San Franciscan five-piece has been a mainstay of hip European festivals for the last two years, bridging the gap between black metal and shoegaze revival, and gathering considerable critical praise. Their set at Beta last year confirmed their reputation as an intense and skilled live act.

As they tear through material from Sunbather and Roads to Judah, the band demonstrate themselves to be the perfect act to help push us into the small hours: intensely energetic, uplifting in a gently melancholic sort of way. Slow instrumental tracks like “Irresistible” allow a little Red House Painters-esque reprieve from an otherwise blistering set. Frontman George Clark is in fine form, throwing himself into the crowd, beating his chest and contorting his face into grimaces that fail to disguise his boy-band looks.

But as usual it is the compositions of Kerry McCoy and the effortlessly precise drumming of Daniel Tracy that really stand out. And sure, sometimes the songs do sound quite a lot like Slowdive, but is that really such an awful criticism? — CC

Myrkur (Pavilion)

It’s a tall order for a band to make their live debut at a festival the size of Roskilde, but that is what Amalie Bruun, the woman behind Myrkur, has done. The project is described as black metal, but Bruun has done a good job prettying things up; she has a strong, beautiful soprano and is backed by a chorus of women. It’s in sharp contrast to the machine-like drums and fractal short circuiting of the guitars. Bruun holds her own as a screamer as well, and her dual-microphone stand encased in a tree branch is delightful in its own right.

There are the usual first show glitches, and it’s understandably not the tightest set. Though Paul McCartney is still playing through her set, Pavilion is full. Perhaps the only way to compete with a living legend is to put up a hometown girl backed by a choir of hometown girls. — AF

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Africa Express (Arena)

Africa Express–less a band than a mini-festival in itself–is a chance to catch a lot of bands such as Songhoy Blues and Jupiter and Okwess International who performed earlier in the festival, as well as trying to spot celebrity guests amongst the line-up. Spotting Graham Coxton in the wings messing around with a Telecaster instantly upped the excitement of these two Blur fans.

There are times when the camera pans to Albarn when it really could have stayed focused on other performers or DJs. It’s a subtle reminder of who is considered the priority instead of who is ostensibly the star of the show.

Ultimately, we couldn’t make it through the set, checking out sometime in its fifth hour. It was disappointing, because it was exactly the kind of late night party you want to end a festival with, and as we hear more and more about the artists and songs we missed out on. But if this train rolls through again as an evening with Africa Express, we’ll be at the front of the queue. — AF

Roskilde Festival: Day 3

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Run The Jewels (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Kate Tempest (Apollo)

Not too much has changed in the few months since we last saw Kate Tempest — most notable is her swapping her second drummer for a back-up singer. Not a bad change, as the singer in question not only adds strength to the sung portions of Tempest’s songs, but also ups the energy on stage by dancing a way that shows more form than Tempest’s long, bobbing strides across the stage.

As for Tempest herself, when we saw her at Lille Vega, we had the sneaking suspicion that she was an artist suited to festivals. It’s nice to be right about these things. Her set is more tailored to the atmosphere, keeping the spoken word elements limited to the bridge of “The Truth” and set closer “Hold Your Own,” which was received with the same spirit as in a tiny club. And it was really nice to see a broad smile across her face during most of the set; she seemed to really be in her element, and the crowd could not be more enthusiastic.

But you have to wonder how closely people were listening to her words; the irony of the two men next to use stripping naked from the waist down during “Bad Place for a Good Time” didn’t go unnoticed.

Kate Tempest (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Kate Tempest (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Run the Jewels (Arena)

Run the Jewels made their live debut at Roskilde in 2012. When El-P generously proclaims, “Roskilde is the home of Run the Jewels,” it sets off a packed audience that didn’t need an excuse to be set off. They probably would have managed this without actually inciting the crowd, as the call and response of “everybody’s doing it” in the chorus of “Lie, Cheat, Steal” proved. It was also far more authentic than the constant demand that the audience chant “RTJ,” but Run the Jewels also occupy that rare space of popularity and cool that translates into un-self-conscious fun.

This joy for the sake of joy carries throughout Arena. While El-P runs in circles like a hyperactive dog, and Killer Mike dominates with his presence alone, the teaming crowd is flinging plastic cups of water — helpfully handed out by audience support staff who are just trying to prevent dance floor dehydration syndrome — into the air. In the midday heat it would have been refreshing, but it’s past 21:00 now. If things didn’t wrap up shortly after the one hour mark, we might have caught a cold.

Run The Jewels (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Run The Jewels (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Goat (Avalon)

 In a weekend where rhythm-heavy “world music” is in plentiful supply, Goat, the Swedish facsimile of this incredibly broad genre, are just surreal enough to hold their own. Taking the stage 45 minutes late (thanks, Einstürzende Neubauten), they provided an immediate jolt to shake away the late evening slump that was beginning to set in. No, the audience doesn’t quite match the wild dancing on stage, but there are enough shimmery threads and glossy masks to dazzle.While their costumes suggest something between tribal and Stanley Kubrick extra, it’s the strong line of psychedelic guitar that keeps things grounded, that shows the varied breadth of their influences rather than make them straight up pastiche. And again, look at those masks:  This was never meant to be taken too seriously.
Goat (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Goat (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
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