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PLAYLIST: Here Today’s Concerts – April

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We have updated our “Here Today Concerts” playlist.

The Twilight Sad (Loppen, 03.04.2015)

The Twilight Sad has just released their fourth studio album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, to raving reviews.  Drowned In Sound wrote:  “The Twilight Sad gave birth to one of the greatest British debut albums in living memory. That was in 2007 and just seven years later they’ve given us an indication that they could attain greatness on a par with MBV or The Jesus and Mary Chain. Hell, carry on like this and we’ll be comparing them with The Cure.” Sounds like a band you want to hear, right?

Eyehategod (Loppen, 07.04.2015)

Wearing earplugs to an Eyehategod show is as effective as wearing a bulletproof vest to a catapult festival. As veteran purveyors of sludge metal, the New Orleans outfit grind out blood-encrusted songs that fall on the exploding end of the noise spectrum. Their music is the sound gravity makes with a limitless supply of anvils and anchors, the spectacle of which will be well worth the price of admission.

Kate Tempest (Vega, 13.04.2015)

The obvious reference point to Kate Tempest debut album Everybody Down is the Streets’ second album, A Grand Don’t Come for Free. It is a conceptual album that tells the story of three characters battling loneliness in the big city, with each song representing a new chapter; a rather ambitious undertaking which the young Londoner gets away with quite well.

Calexico (Amager Bio, 14.04.2015)

Calexico specializes in music of the soul by sunset, a style and attitude inherent to the group’s home in the Mexican-American borderlands of Tucson, Arizona. Combining the warm acoustic arrangements of country and the brassy orchestration of Mexican folk music, they can get big and loud without being unwelcoming. Their forthcoming album Edge of the Sun is set to release on April 14, the day of their show at Amager Bio. If ever there were a time and a place…

White Hills (Loppen, 14.04.2015)

Psychedelic New-Yorkers White Hills haven’t released much material in the last couple of years, but that hasn’t kept them out of the lime-light. An appearance on Only Lovers Left Alive–a scene in which the vampiric Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddelston and Mia Wasikowska gloomily headbang to the band in a Detroit club–has cemented their reputation as purveyors of far out cool. Loppen is certainly an appropriate venue for a band with the Jim Jarmusch seal of approval.

Grouper (Jazzhouse, 21.04.2015)

Having listened to Ruins, Liz Harris’ latest album as ambient act Grouper, it’s difficult to picture exactly what kind of performance she will put on at Jazzhouse. How do you haunt a stage the way that album haunts the mind? Undoubtedly with the aid of smoke and mirrors. Even if all that means is a bit of dry ice and some mood lighting, the aural component is smoke you can’t blow out, a mirror you can’t turn away from.

Moon Duo (Stengade, 22.04.2015)

If the East Coast psychedelia of White Hills isn’t enough for one month, Moon Duo are coming to Copenhagen to represent the West Coast. On the back of their latest critically-acclaimed album, Shadow of the Sun, the Duo will be kraut-rocking through Europe, leaving behind them a trail of burned rubber and broken speakers.

Colin Stetson (Jazzhouse, 22.04.2015)

Stetson’s New History of Warfare trilogy, recently completed, has gone a long way in redefining the capabilities of the saxophone. Thanks to circular breathing techniques and microphones inserted in strange places, Colin Stetson has turned the usually jaunty sax into an instrument of bleak and violent landscapes. Eerie pulsations and terrifying screeches are the order of the day, and we look forward to experiencing them in Lynchian environment of Jazzhouse.

Screaming Females (Loppen, 28.04.2015)

Actually there is only one female in the New Jersey Punk outfit Screaming Females, Marissa Paternoster. Even though she is tiny, she fills the stage in a way that stops the question “why are they called that then?” popping into your head. Her powerful vibrato and brutal guitar work is hard to match. Their 2012 album Ugly was recorded with Steve Albini and gained praise with publications such as Pitchfork. On their new album Rose Mountain the band explores new territory which results in a more refined sound which holds great promise for the future.

AUDIO: The Soft Moon ‘Deeper’

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Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

Post-punk on peyote, maybe? Descriping The Soft Moon is not an easy task. Being the brain child of singer-songwriter Luis Vasquez, the synth-based project is minimal, yet challenging. You can now stream the new album ‘Deeper’ at NPR – and make sure to get tickets for their concert at Loppen in May: Soft Moon live at Loppen in Copenhagen on May 20th 2015

INTERVIEW: Jenny Wilson

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Jenny Wilson (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

It’s ten years since Jenny Wilson released her debut album, Love and Youth, and to commemorate the occasion she’s playing the album in full from beginning to end at four dates, including Skuespilhuset on 19 April.

Jenny’s style has shifted significantly in the last ten years, and revisiting Love and Youth means looking back at a different way of playing, and songs that have been missing from her set for years.

We met up with Jenny at Harbo Bar in Nørrebro at the end of January to talk about Love and Youth, her creative process, and what she’s working on now.

Are you looking forward to the anniversary shows?

It’s going to be exciting. It’s strange when ten years suddenly has passed. It was just the other day I actually went back to that album and listened to everything. Because normally I never go back to my albums. I never listen to them. It was actually [my manager] Jessica who suggested — I think it was maybe six months ago — we should do something because it’s ten years, “Oh no, I don’t want to go back to that! Oh no. No, no no no.”

I was getting stressed, “Oh no, now I have to rearrange the songs so they will be more up to date to what I’m doing right now.” Because what I’m doing right now is quite far from what I did back then. But now I’m actually beginning to embrace the old, and I can see that there is a reason to do it as it was back then. The original versions. I’m going to that.

Are there any songs that you haven’t played in a while?

I’ve played I think three songs the last five years from the first album. The rest is something that I haven’t been in contact with for a very long time. But now I listen to the songs and I read the lyrics and I start to remember how to play guitar. I played guitar live when I was touring Love and Youth, and I started playing keyboard and piano with the next album, and now I’m just playing a bit of synthesizer. So now I have to learn to play guitar again.

Do you feel that your relationship to the songs has changed, like a different person wrote them?

Oh yeah. Very much. But what I discovered now when I returned to Love and Youth again is that I think the songs are closer to me now again than they were maybe five years ago. I was pretty scared that I would think the songs to be childish or just stupid. I didn’t find them stupid or childish, actually. It’s definitely another chapter in my life, but I still feel for these songs, I can still sing the lyrics without feeling ashamed.

(Photos by Morton Aagaard Krogh)
(Photos by Morton Aagaard Krogh)

I imagine you wouldn’t feel ashamed about listening to someone else’s record you loved from 10 years ago.

If you’re an artist or a writer or doing anything creative, you need to just proceed and go forward and not look back too much, because if you look back, you won’t make anything new. I mean ten years — pretty much anything can happen in ten years. When I wrote my debut album, I only had one son, now I have two. I was still so much closer to the person I was as a teenager, even if I was at the end of my twenties. But now I’m turning 40 this year, and my first-born son, he’s 13 and he has feet like this [makes hand gesture], and I have one more son, he’s eight, so it’s like, during these ten years, I’ve become a much more — I don’t know how to say it — a much more rich person, both in my private life and also as an artist. I think I have much more insight in life. I’ve been sick twice during these years, had breast cancer, I’ve gone through a lot of stuff that has really shaped me. I think I was much more loose. I was much more of a child still, even if I was an adult.

What was the writing process like for Love and Youth?

It was a lot of trial and error. I had to invent the wheel, because I was sitting in a closet in my apartment and I had to learn everything from scratch. I had a past in a band and we made some records. I’d been through the recording process before, but this time I did it in a completely different way. I learned how to program beats and to record. It wasn’t comfortable. It was far from easy to do it. That was also the challenge in it, that I had to. I had to twist and turn everything to find my own language and my own sound. I really wanted to do something that I hadn’t tried before. I was working very, very fast, just playing around with whatever came up to my mind, because I was so liberated by the feeling of being the only one in charge. I didn’t have to ask anyone for permission to do anything, no democracy here, it was just me. And I really loved that, so I was experimenting a lot.

But with the lyrics, I was much more determined to stick to one subject, stick to a topic, and I was working very hard with getting that universe together. Many songs had other lyrics from the start, but then I changed it, because I saw this theme coming up. I thought it was a very interesting way of working to actually have one subject that you have to dig deep into and you have to describe feelings and and situations from new angles. I really, really love to work like that. That’s the method I have been doing for all my records after that. I always search for a very long time for this subject.

What has changed about how you work?

I’m much more of a professional now. I don’t have to try all the spices, I know that I can stick to salt and pepper. For my last album, Demand the Impossible, I worked very much alone for a year to find my universe and to find the sounds and to find how to produce it. But then I actually worked with two other persons, my drummer and a real sound engineer. I’m not a real sound engineer at all. Which is okay. But I really wanted to do it in another way. Also because of speeding up the process a little bit, because it takes a long time to do everything yourself. It was much more fun, and I think I you can feel that there’s a lot more energy on my last record than the first because it’s a collaboration with other human beings.

I think in many ways my process has been the same in these ten years. I’m a very solitary writer. I don’t want anyone to interrupt me in the beginning because I need to find — I call it “universe” because it’s like I need to create a place. It’s like creating a map where you know all the streets and you know the language and you know all the dangerous parts, you know all the good parts, all the beautiful parts, and that’s what I do when I create a record. I really need to understand my little world. Because when I do understand it, I can write lyrics that come from a completely new angle. And also the music gets more original, I think.

You just put out an album last year, but are you working on anything new?

I have not started to record anything new at all. I’m in this phase where you think that you don’t have any ideas, that you think that you will never, ever do a record again, but I know this phase. I feel completely secure in this phase now because I’ve been through it so many times. This is the first stage of starting to collect material or ideas.

I’m working with Love and Youth, I’m going to rerelease the album on vinyl with a new cover which is a kind of pastiche of the original cover that an amazing Swedish artist has made. I’m working with the shows, I have to get into that old universe again. I’m also writing poetry. I’m trying to make a collection of poetry. We’re going to release Demand the Impossible in the rest of the world now. I’m going to make a video for a new single. I’ve started to direct my own videos, which I really enjoy.

Do you have a very strong visual idea when you’re writing?

Yes I do. That’s part of actually building this world. I started to do this when I worked on my second album, Hardships: I have a file on my computer where I collect a lot of pictures. On the file for Demand the Impossible, I found pictures of graffiti, deserts, things that actually matter to me. Maybe that’s not the images somebody else sees when they hear my music, but it’s still important to have these images.

Do you write music then lyrics?

I begin with searching for something, and that can go on actually for some years in the back of my head. I’m doing other things, but something is happening. Then I start to record stuff. Usually, almost every time, it starts with the beats. Then I make some kind of melody for the voice, but I often don’t have any lyrics. I sing in some strange English, but just so I get the rhythm and then I start to produce and compose the songs. In the very very very end of the process, I write the lyrics. Often when I just play around with words, it’s strange how actually, even if I just sing out of the blue, there’s always several words that I actually stick to because they had something to do with it. I didn’t have a clue when I just sat there and sang but then I could see, “Ah! Okay!” It’s a kind of puzzling.

Do you think the songs from Love and Youth will feature more in future sets?

Probably we will pick some songs in our two-hour sets. But you never know. I’m really looking forward to playing these songs again. They’re really good pop songs, actually.

PLAYLIST: Sónar Copenhagen

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Since its beginning in Barcelona in 1994 the electronic music festival Sónar has expanded to over 46 cities acros the globe. This weekend Sónar is coming to Copenhagen. We have made a little selection of artists that will be playing the festival.
With a slight focus on local artists, our playlist spans the electronic pop of Kwamie Liv to the techno-infused avant-garde industrial soundscapes of artists like Puce Mary and Vessel.

Sekuoia

Sekuoia, the moniker of Alexander Bech Madsen, produces atmospheric and dreamy electronica with dry beats and synths. Listen to Here Today’s session with Sekuoia from last year, as well as the one Sekuoia recorded together with Ice Cream Cathedral.

Vessel

In 2014 Vessel released their second studio album, Punish, Honey, described by Sonar as “one of 2014’s most stimulating and challenging”. Drowned In Sound wrote “It’s broodingly mechanic, and yet harrowingly human; it’s truly Bristolian, and neither futuristic nor nostalgic; it’s simply and unignorably now.”

Tri Angle, Vessel’s label, is also home to artists like Haxan Cloak and Forrest Swords.

Kwamie Liv

Kwamie Liv is on the rise. Big time. Simple as that.

Factory Floor

Factory Floor is a band that has to be seen live. With influences that range from Throbbing Gristle to Depeche Mode their sound combines dark and industrial tones with a rapturous rhythm section.

AV AV AV

AV AV AV was formed in late 2013 by three already established names on the danish electronc scene: UNKWON, ELOQ AND DJ E.D.D.E.H. They first track ‘All Good’ became a summer essantial and since then AV AV AV has progressed at a steady pace, with a big show at DR Koncerthuset and a spot on the poster for Roskilde Festival 2015.

Puce Mary

When Frederikke Hoffmeier goes on stage she is Puce Mary, an artist known for her experiental music, shifting from sound art over minimal synth to techno. Puce Mary is released on labels such as Posh Isolation, Freak Animal and Ideal Recordings.

Taragana Pyjarama

Taragana Pyjarama’s debut album was relased on the German label Kompakt, which is about as high as you can get when it comes to European electronic dance music and ambient pop. Before that – in 2011 – he had an EP out on French label Fool House. His sound has been compared to artists like Panda Bear. Taragana Pyjarama’s latest release, Nothing Hype, is published on Wyrd, his own label. Here Today did a session with him in 2013 which you can listen to below.

Sonar Copenhagen will take place on the 13. & 14. of March 2015

VIDEO: Rangleklods ‘Lost U’

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Rangleklods

Two years after releasing their debut album Beekeeper, Danish electronic duo Rangleklods (Pernille Smith-Sivertsen and Esben Nørskov Andersen) has a new album named straitjacket coming up. The first single from their upcoming album is “Lost U”.  Watch the video produced by Copenhagen/Berlin based Cyan Studios below:

PLAYLIST: Here Today’s Concerts

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The month of March will not only be treating us with some exciting concerts, but also Sonar Festival (March 13-14). We have updated our “Here Today Concerts” playlist with a few selected artists that you might want to spend a night listening to. Among them are Dean Blunt, Jessica Pratt, Yung (tonight with Total Heels), Ex Hex and Wounded Kings.

Yung + Total Heels (Stengade, 04.03.2015)

As the music scene centered around Mayhem is becoming more widely known, you might be fooled into thinking that it is the only place to go underground in Denmark. That is not the case, though, as Aarhus has it’s own very lively scene. Yung is one of the most promising bands that have emerged from there in the last few years. Tonight (March 4. 2015) they will be playing Stengade along with another great band: Total Heels. Didn’t make it to any of Iceage’s sold out shows at Jazzhouse last week? Well don’t worry, good times are waiting at Stengade. [Link to event.]

Ex Hex (Loppen, 05.03.2015)

According to The Guardian’s 5 star review of Ex Hex’s 2014 album, Rips, the band “sit somewhere near the middle of a Go-gos/Ramones/Sleater-Kinney Venn diagram, and join latterday power-pop aces like Warm Soda, the Love Triangle and Sheer Mag in making some of the most endlessly repeat-listenable should-be-hits of recent years.”

What else is there to say, sounds fun, right? [Link to event.]

Dean Blunt (Jazzhouse, 20.03.2015)

Dean Blunt, who plays Jazzhouse on the 20th of March, is an interesting new breed of experimental lo-fi R&B, dub and electronica. Last year he released the album Black Metal to great critical acclaim.

Dean Blunt is also one half of Hype Williams. [Link to event.]

Jessica Pratt (Stengade, 28.03.2015)

San Fransisco born singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt has just released her second album, On Your Own Love Again. Forget laptop wall-of-sound productions, Jessica Pratt made her album on an analogue 4-track recorder with little more than a guitar and her voice. As Pitchfork writes, it worked out really well: “Its warm, home-recorded atmosphere is more dramatic and distinctive than Jessica Pratt [her debut album]: finger-picked psychedelia, lucidly layered harmonies, hissy tape effects, an overcast haze. But Pratt’s songwriting is more cohesive and concise, her whispered secrets more alluring”. [Link to event.]

Wounded Kings (Loppen, 18.03.2015)

Life can not always be expressed in freak-folk and “repeat-listenable should-be-hits”. Sometimes you need a bit of doom metal and this is where The Wounded Kings enter the scene. Their latest album Consolamentum has received great praise among reviewers. If you sometimes find yourself nodding along to Black Sabbath, Wounded Kings are worth considering. [Link to event]

PLAYLIST: Here Today Listening

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We are debuting “Here Today Listening“, a weekly-updated playlist for which we pick out the 7 tracks from recently released or upcoming albums that we have been obsessing over the most. Follow us on Spotify and stay updated on the best tracks of the week.

Father John Misty – “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow”

The second studio album from Father John Misty, the moniker of Baltimore-born singer-songwriter and former Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman, has received high praise from critics around the world. Witty songwriting and lush melodies are at the center of this album. Lilting sadly like a barroom ballad, “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” shifts from lapsteel guitar to strings, and even a jazzy clarinet solo. But when it comes to Father John Misty, it’s all about the cynical one-liners: “She blackens pages like a Russian romantic/ Gets down more often than a blowup doll.”

Darren Hayman – “May Day 1894”

Darren Hayman, formerly of the band Hefner, is no stranger to history concept albums. In the summer of 2013 Hayman released Bugbears, the last album in his trilogy about 17th century Essex. Two years later he is back with a new concept album that rewrites an old arts & crafts pamphlet by nineteenth-century polymath William Morris. The result, Chants for Socialists, is collection of beautifully crafted songs that are as relevant now as they where more than hundred years ago.

Marika Hackman – “Animal Fear”

In the music press you are more likely to hear about Marika Hackman’s privileged background and famous model friends than her music, but the London-based singer-songwriter lush and down-tempo take on alt-folk doesn’t need any such context. Her latest single, taken from her debut album, We Slept At Last, balances laid-back vocals with ponderous drums, poised like a cat ready to spring.

Blur – “Go Out”

We still have two months to way before the release of The Magic Whip, Blur’s first album in 12 years. Judging by “Go Out”, the supposed “Asian” theme of the album is thankfully limited to artwork and lyrics, rather than the cultural insensitivity of Siouxsie and the Banshees “Hong Kong Garden”. The single features a cheeky bass-line, care of Alex “the smug cheese man” James, noisy guitars from Graham Coxton, and Damon Albarn singing about onanism “at the local.”

The Pop Group – “Mad Truth”

The comeback of the year aware has to go to The Pop Group, not just for the length of time between album releases (35 years), but also for the power of this belated punch to the face. Citizen Zombie might be a little more accessible than their 1979 debut, Y, but the same manic energy is apparent. “Mad Truth” is a gorgeous piece of violent disco funk, proving frontman Mark Stewart has lost none of his confrontational attitude.

Courtney Barnett – “Pedestrian at Best”

The Australian singer-songwriter came to critical attention with the release of her double EP in 2013, full of laid-back Americana-influenced jangle. “Pedestrian at Best” substitutes that slacker image with grungy riffs and a witty barrage of lyrics (“I think you’re a joke but I don’t find you very funny”). It’s a promising taster of her upcoming album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, due at the end of March.

Screaming Females – “Ripe”

Speaking of grunge, New Jersey’s Screaming Females are back with the scorching Rose Mountain. Thanks to the production of Mat Bayles, the band’s sixth studio album has a decidedly stoner-rock flavour, full of chugging bass-lines and fat guitar tones. Marissa Paternoster’s vocals punch through the noise, adding a brilliant demented edge to the already manic tones of songs like “Ripe”.

 

INTERVIEW: Gazelle Twin

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Gazelle Twin

Photos by Amanda Farah

Gazelle Twin’s second LP, Unflesh, with its viscerally minimalist approach to electronic music and singular conceptual vision, has received a good amount of critical acclaim over the last few months, allowing the formerly Brighton-based composer Elizabeth Bernholz to tour widely across the US and Europe. This week, on the occasion of her concert at Vega’s Ideal Bar, accompanied by her husband, visual artist and musician Jez Bernholz, we caught up with the pair.

Gazelle Twin and Bernholz, Elizabeth and Jez, have much to teach the world in terms of touring on a budget. The couple manage to carry all their gear (one sampler and one keyboard) in a single suitcase, travelling from gig to gig across Europe by train. I get the impression that, for all its practicality, it is the romanticism of train journeys that fires up Jez. His own brand of electronica pulsates with a passionate earnestness, typified in tracks like “Austerity Boy”, which complements the more sparse and aggressive compositions of his partner.

It is difficult in retrospect to reconcile the energy and terrifying blanked face of the character prowling the stage in a blue hoodie with the soft-spoken and charming woman I interviewed only a couple of hours before the gig. Backed by glitchy and hard drum and bass lines, this embodiment of teenage violence whispers, breathes and chants, half thug, half shaman. The imagery evoked in her words can be clearly guessed by glancing at the titles—“Unflesh”, “Exorcise”, “Anti Body”, “Guts”—eviscerating and tortured, innards and fluids sprayed on a backdrop of cold, artificial sounds. Hidden within that alienation, though, are traces of some kind of reserved humanism. Where “Belly of the Beast” uses the sounds of supermarkets to evoke ideas of parasitic consumption, the haunting “Premonition” reaches towards a more pastoral mode. The human voice, altered or dry, singing or just breathing heavily, stands above all else on the record.

Though many have already pointed towards some fairly obvious influences on Gazelle Twin—The Knife and Björk perhaps mentioned most often—there is clearly something quite unique and personal about Elizabeth Bernholz’s music which merits close listening. So on Wednesday evening, over dinner at a Thai restaurant on Istedgade, I am keen to find out what lurks behind the character and music of Unflesh.

Gazelle Twin

What has it been like to transition from recording to performing this record live?

For this record it has been almost seamless. It’s quite easy to perform live because it’s so minimal, and there was that intention to strip things away, half thinking that I wanted to be able to perform it really dry, with a solid sound, and not to have to rely on any effects.

Was it more difficult with your debut album, The Entire City?

With the previous record, which I didn’t perform that much, it was much more difficult, because I didn’t write it with that intent. It was very sweeping, you needed a visual part to it. I never felt that satisfied performing it.

But now you perform live with Jez, what is that like?

Jez and I are married, and he kindly offered to perform with me. I used to perform with two guys who had their own projects, and it was always very hard to organise that part of it, to get everyone available. But also I’m just very anxious, and performing is quite a lot to get through for someone who is very sensitive, so it’s actually been very helpful having you [turning to Jez] just to have some security. Performing this way allows me to be more aggressive and play a role.

Does your approach to the songs change as your perform them more and more?

I haven’t felt the need to change much in the songs. I think we’ve to go a point now where we’ve done close to fifteen sets in this tour, when we’re starting to think it needs something else, something in the same vein, probably not a new song but a cover. In the past I’ve covered Joy Division, which is a bit audacious. “The Eternal”, which fitted into my older stuff. The most recent one is a Wire cover, “Heartbeat”. Credit goes to Jez for that. I always try to cover stuff that’s as different to me as possible, usually songs by men, rather than female-written ones. Prince is one.

“Premonition” has a very different mood to the rest of the record. Almost pastoral.

It’s just that one melody [sings it]. It has that medieval feel, it’s in lots of music, especially choral music—the bedrock of all my music—and then transitioned into folk music. But it’s not really anywhere else on the record.

Are you ever surprised by your work?

I never thought I’d be doing spoken word—or “rapping”, if you want to call it that. If you’d told me that two years ago I’d have cringed. But I try to do it as naturally as I can.

Is being natural important?

I like artificial sounds. I wanted the elements of this record to be very distinct from one another other: bass, drums, vocal, a background of choral vocals or synthesisers. I didn’t want too much synthesiser on this, or if I did I wanted it to sound like a human voice, and most of them actually are. I like the way I can affect my own voice. There’s an earnestness to the dry, natural voice, but I wanted to get away from that completely.

All the videos and promotional material for this album feature you with a pixellated face and blue hoodie. Where does this character come from?

It just comes from lots of childhood experiences, lots of memories that I unconsciously started to think about in the process of wanting to make music that was really aggressive. It’s all about school, displacement, being a young girl, really. There’s adult anger in there as well, but mainly it’s a teenage expression of anxiety. I just wanted to scream a little bit, which I never did at the time. But it’s not all meant to be deadly serious, there’s a cockiness to it, playful aspects which I hope come across.

And the hoodie?

Originally I’d wanted it to be a P.E. kit, but that would have been a bit weird, dressed as a child. There’s more room to disguise myself this way, and I’d had a blue thing going through my previous costumes. Blue is a bit of a school colour, a sporty colour.

As for the tights over my face, obviously there is this association with crime, this really masculine image. I always found that hilarious, butch guys with shear tights on their head. But it was just a way to blank my face out. I wanted to look pixellated. And it has this doll-head effect at the same time, so hard and soft.

Is it difficult to perform with that get-up?

There’s so much breathing that sometimes the hair of my wig goes down my throat. Really horrible experience, but I have ways of getting around that.

Do you plan on keeping the character for future projects?

The more I’ve externalised the character, the more I’ve thought “that’s it, there’s nothing more to say.” But I think there are still other routes to take it. My ultimate plan would be to stop touring the album and work the character into a graphic novel, so that the girl is a stand-alone character, existing beyond the music. I’m not sure the music is the fullest expression of that persona. I’d like there to be something that lasts and has a different kind of existence.

So which comes first, character or music?

The character came after I’d written most of the music. The music was just my experiences. It’s hard to remember, really, because so much is visual when I’m writing. I collect a lot of images and film, and sometimes I will just write down words and pick a word I want to write a song about. It always starts with a musical loop, or I’ll pick a word and imagine how it will sound. Or an image might give me a feeling for something to express. It’s a whole jumble, I’m completely all over the place when I’m making stuff. I just gather things, hoard things, just live with them for a while.

It reminds me of the kids I was scared of in middle school.

I wanted to look like one of those Cronenberg kids from The Brood. The P.E. kit was my version of that child.

Gazelle Twin

AUDIO: Shadow Age – ‘Shutter’

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Exciting new music hitting our inbox this Monday morning, Shadow Age, the moniker for Copenhagen based producer Benjamin Fischermann. Benjamin (the former member of electro duo Ghost Venue) has been locked away in his basement studio during the winter of 2014 developing his new sound, which leans on the dark elements of electronica. ‘Shutter’ is the debut track is released online only and is expected to feature on his EP which is set for release later in 2015.

Listen to ‘Shutter’ below:

Albums of the year 2014

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Swans-To-Be-Kind

Swans – To Be Kind

After thirteen studio albums, Swans have not diluted their power or talent one bit. But somehow, since their rekindling in 2010, they have become more popular. To Be Kind is just as provocative and challenging as Swans’ early material, with half-an-hour-long songs like “Bring the Sun/Touissant Overture” and off-kilter oddities like “A Little God in My Hand”, but the sound and instrumentation has matured, becomings both less distorted and somehow more dissonant. As we witnessed in November, Swans are still a brutally loud and relentless live band, a constant provocation to audience and peers, and much loved because of it. – CC


 møMØ – NoMythologies To Follow

Karen Marie Ørsted is my hero. My braid swinging, ex-punk rocker, stage diving hero. I remember the first time I listened to one of MØ’s tracks, loading up Spotify and finding myself blasting ‘Pilgrim’ and ‘Let The Youth Go Mad’ for hours on end and wondering how one individual could contain quite so much effortless cool. She was the Danish alternative pop princess I’d been waiting for, ready to join a royal court populated by Björk, Kate Bush and Lana Del Rey. I waited for No Mythologies To Follow for over a year, as singles like ‘Glass’ and ‘XXX 88’ trickled out from MØ HQ. I was delighted to find that the debut album did not disappoint, as Ørsted shared something that was exciting, thematic, beautiful and most importantly, sounds fucking fantastic. From the first time I heard it, I knew that No Mythologies… was my album of the year. – HT


WhatIsThisHeartHow To Dress Well – What Is This Heart?

Tom Krell’s third album What Is This Heart touches on lighter subjects than his previous two albums Total Loss (2012) and Love Remains (2010). Not one to shy away from touching personal matters, the album starts off with ‘2 Years On (Shame Dream)’ and leads you softly into a journey that expands an extremely vivid personal dream about his family. ‘Face Again’ the stand out single along with ‘Repeat Pleasure’ work in his signature indie R&B coupled with stunning falsetto which leave you questioning how these tracks aren’t further up the charts. WITH takes a turn with grand orchestral ‘Pour Cyril’ before leading into cute power pop ballads ‘Very Best Friend’ and ‘Precious Love’ proving key changes are making a come back! – TS


 Angel OlsenAngel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

The most immediately striking thing about Angel Olsen is her voice, a voice that could easily croon country hits but instead lopes over scruffy, dampened guitars. Her voice alone should earn her and Burn Your Fire for No Witness a place in hearts and best-of lists, but what really makes Burn Your Fire… so special is that it’s wholly intuitive. Olsen’s second full length album is her first with a full band, and it’s the album her debut hinted she was capable of making. She hasn’t abandoned minimalist solo tracks, but she balances them against full-band arrangements. And it’s not just the range of her voice that’s striking but it’s incredible malleability; that it’s raw yet gentle, that it jumps from disaffected to emotive from one line to another, that it rasps and twangs with equal affect. And while she’s not too proud to pay homage to the ‘90s on “Forgiven/Forgotten” and “High and Wild,” these frazzled moments give way easily to stark folk ballads. The album comes down so slowly that by the time you’ve reached the hushed conclusion of “Windows” there’s a sense of catharsis. Burn Your Fire… doesn’t just leave you feeling satisfied, but completed. – AF


 sharon van ettenSharon Van Etten  – Are We There

Somewhere in Tennessee there is apparently an ex-boyfriend of Sharon Van Etten who, during their relationship, kept telling her that her music was terrible. There is a lesson to be learned here.
“Are We There” is one of those records that grows on you. There is something extremely vulnerable and honest about Sharon Van Etten’s song writing and performance on stage. Her voice has depth which is completed by the unique vocal harmonies with Heather Woods Broderick. As Sharon Van Etten told The New York Times when she released her previous album “Tramp”, she does not really consider them harmonies: “I just hear two notes at once — I just hear two melodies.” – MK


6) East India YouthTotal Strife Forever
7) IceagePlowing Into The Fields Of Love
8) Scott Walker and SunnO)))Soused
9) Tune-yardsNikki Nack
10) The War On DrugsLost In A Dream
11) Future IslandsSingles
12) Sleep Party PeopleFloating
13) FKA TwigsLP1
14) EagullsEagulls
15) St. VincentSt. Vincent
16) Alt-JThis Is All Yours
17) Wild BeastsPresent Tense
18) Mac DeMarcoSalad Days
19) Ice Cream CathedralSudden Anatomy
20) Lana Del ReyUltraviolence
21) Get Your GunThe Worrying Kind
22) SpoonThey Want My Soul
23) WarpaintWarpaint
24) Shiny DarklyLittle Earth
25) BeyoncéBeyoncé

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