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Deafheaven

LIVE REVIEW: Deafheaven and Myrkur, Amager Bio, 17.03.2016

in Live Reviews by
deafheaven live

It’s only eight months since we saw Amalie Bruun’s debut performance as Myrkur at Roskilde, which was notable for its fanfare and how much attention was drawn to it being a debut. But her performance at Amager Bio has a lower key, hometown vibe to it. There’s a Danish flag draped on the drum kit (we assume in a charming, celebratory way and not a nationalistic way like black metal bands from other countries might) and Solbrud’s Ole Luk comes out for a song.

Bruun herself is sticking to her evil sprite character, emphasizing her haunting voice whether paired against a piano or heavily distorted guitars. She does have her metal moments — the shifts in drum fills, the separate, effects-laden microphone — but she’s best described as a hard rock act with particularly pretty vocals.

Myrkur (Photo by Tom Spray)

Compared to Myrkur, who plays up the pretty aspects of her music, Deafheaven actively work to hide the fact that their music can be quite pretty. In their quieter moments, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re an indie rock band, so strongly do their shoegaze influences come through, and even though singer George Clarke is shifting and stalking like a caged animal. You can’t fault him for energy, though it’s clear that he doesn’t always know what to do with it. He beckons fans to come closer, though no one tries to climb up on stage.

It’s really a rather curiously polite crowd considering the music and considering the singer’s own thrashing energy. It’s not until the encore, “Sunbathers,” that there’s any semblance of a mosh pit. But then the artier impulses of Deafheaven play to this; their new album, New Bermuda, follows a less predictable song structure than their previous work. It’s difficult to mosh when the aggression suddenly falls out the bottom of a song. But this decreasing predictability also makes them as exciting a live act as any of Clarke’s thrashing.

PHOTOS: Deafheaven, Amager Bio, Copenhagen, 17.03.2016

in Photos by

Photos by Tom Spray

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Myrkur

Myrkur (Photo by Tom Spray)

Photos of the year 2015

in Blog/Photos by
Father John Misty

Photos by Tom Spray, Morten Aagaard Krogh and Amanda Farah

Every year Here Today’s talented photographers capture a little piece of the magic of live performances around Denmark. As the end of 2015 draws closer we’d like to revisit some of the best pictures to have been featured this year, and ask you to vote for the best. Add your email and one lucky voter will win a print copy of the top voted picture of 2015.

Voting ends at midnight on December the 20th.

 [yop_poll id=”1″ tr_id=””” show_results=”-1″]

Photo by Tom Spray
Deafheaven – Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
The Tallest Man On Earth – Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Run The Jewels – Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Foxygen – Photo by Tom Spray
Iceage (Photo by Tom Spray)
Iceage – Photo by Tom Spray

 

Photo by Tom Spray
Paul McCartney – Photo by Tom Spray
Belle and Sebastian. Photo by Amanda Farah
Belle and Sebastian. Photo by Amanda Farah
Viet Cong (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Viet Cong – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Future Islands - Photo Morten Aagaard Krogh
Future Islands – Photo Morten Aagaard Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh
Bob Hund – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Fat White Family photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Fat White Family – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

 

Roskilde Festival: Day 4

in Blog/Live Reviews by

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

PHOTOS: Roskilde Festival 2015

in Photos by

Bob Hund

Photo by Morten Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh

Communions

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ratking

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Noel Gallagher

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

The War On Drugs

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Father John Misty

Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

St Vincent

St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Foxygen

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Perfume Genius

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Lust For Youth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Pallbearer

Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Hot Chip

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ought

Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Fat White Family

Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Pharmakon

Photo by Morten Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh

The Tallest Man On Earth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Run The Jewels

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Kendrick Lamar

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Goat

Goat (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Nils Frahm

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Deafheaven

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Paul McCartney

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Jamie xx

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Africa Express

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

PHOTOS: Roskilde Festival 2015 – Day 4

in Photos by

Joanna Gruesome

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Nils Frahm

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Deafheaven

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Paul McCartney

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Jamie xx

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Africa Express

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

The Entrepreneurs guide to Roskilde Festival

in Blog by
The Entrepreneurs at Roskilde Festival

This year’s Roskilde Festival is not a normal one for The Entrepreneurs, an upcoming trio from Copenhagen. They are playing no less than three shows at difference locations during the festival. We caught their blistering set at the Rising stage, and met up with them today to hear what concerts they are most looking forward to at Roskilde.

The Entrepreneurs
The Entrepreneurs live at Roskilde Festival 2015 (The Rising Stage)

Communions – Wednesday, 18.00 | Pavilion

We really like Communions. Coming out of the same scene as Iceage, there is something un-Danish about them, which we appreciate. It’s punk and love, at the same time.

Paul McCartney / Deafheaven – Wednesday, 18.00 | Pavilion

We saw Deafheaven when they played Beta 2300 in Copenhagen last year. It is an amazing band, and if it was not for Paul McCartney, that would be our concert of choice. But we have to see Paul McCartney, we are all fans of The Beatles, and some of McCartney’s songs like The Long Winding Road are among our favorites. Some of us even like what he did with Rihanna, but there is no consensus when it comes to that.

Africa Express, Saturday, 23.00  | Arena

It is simply a fantastic line-up, with artists like Warren Ellis, Damon Albarn and Bo, the guitarist from Mew – and we love Bo, you can write that, both his personality and the way he plays the guitar.

Father John Misty, Thursday, 17.00 | Avalon

He is a true performer, simple as that.

https://youtu.be/bmivOHrkREg

 

Roskilde 2015: Our Most Anticipated Acts

in Blog by

Roskilde 2015 is gearing up, and as half of the population of Copenhagen migrates towards the festival grounds, it’s time for us to share the acts we are most enthusiastically anticipating.

Wednesday

18:00 – Communions (Pavilion)

19:00 – Bob Hund (Avalon)

19:15 – Ratking (Apollo)

23:00 – The War On Drugs (Arena)

Thursday

17:00 – Father John Misty (Avalon)

18:00 – St Vincent (Arena)

20:00 – Perfume Genius (Pavilion)

23:00 – Pharmakon (Gloria)

00:00 – Ought (Pavilion)

02:00 – Fat White Family (Pavilion)

Friday

16:00 – The Tallest Man On Earth (Arena)

18:00 – Kate Tempest (Apollo)

19:30 – Kendrick Lamar (Orange)

20:00 – Einstürzende Neubauten (Avalon)

https://youtu.be/48nakpWpYTI

21:00 – Run The Jewels (Arena)

22:30 – Disclosure (Orange)

Saturday

15:00 – Girl Band (Pavilion)

17:00 – Joanna Gruesome (Pavilion)

20:30 – Chelsea Wolfe (Gloria)
che

22:30 – Deafheaven (Pavilion)

23.00 – Africa Express (Arena)

00:00 – Myrkur (Pavilion)

Photos of the year 2014

in Photos by
The Rolling Stones (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

It has been a busy year for Here Today. During 2014 our photographers and journalists covered Roskilde FestivalNorthside FestivalTrailerpark FestivalWasn’t Born To Follow (a mini festival by Smash! Bang! Pow!), as well as over 50 live shows with artists like St. VincentSwansAngel OlsenSharon Van EttenThe War On DrugsMac DemarcoCommunionsFirst HateLower, and many more.

We have put together a selection of the best photos of the year 2014. It has not been easy. Some stood out, though, like the picture below of Perfect Pussy; a picture that captures the raw energy of the show while still being very carefully composed and a perfect example of Henry Cartier Bresson’s concept of the decisive moment.

Perfect Pussy (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh / mortenkrogh.com)Perfect Pussy | Wasn´t Born To Follow, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Another amazing photo is the one of Damon Albarn (by Tom Spray) spitting water at the audience at Roskilde Festival. The crowd, the big empty space and the solitary figure (Damon) at the edge of the stage in a defiant stance; it is a picture with allegorical qualities, one that can make you mind wander.

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Damon Albarn | Roskilde Festival, Arena Stage (Photo by Tom Spray)

Then there is Morten Aagaard Krogh‘s photograph of the The Rolling Stones (at the top of this post) from when the band played the legendary Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival, a stage that has come to symbolize the festival. The Orange Stage was originally made for The Rolling Stones’s 1976 Summer tour, but in 1978 it was sold to Roskilde Festival. For the first time since 1976 The Rolling Stones where reunited with their old stage. It was also the first time they played Roskilde Festival. James Hjertholm’s photo of Hexis’s leadsinger Filip Andersen is also very powerful and last, but not least, there is a whole gallery of photos (at the bottom of the page) that are equally great.

Hexis (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Hexis | Roskilde Festival, Rising Stage (Photo by James Hjertholm)

See the gallery with Here Today’s photos of the year 2014 below.

The gallery features photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com), Tom Spray (tom-spray.com), James Hjertholm (jameshjertholm.com), Ivan Boll (ivanrb.dk) and Jonas Bang (jonasbang.com).

All images are copyright of the individual photographers.

LIVE REVIEW: Deafheaven, BETA 11.08.2014

in Live Reviews by

It is appropriate to the band playing tonight that the audience arriving at Beta are greeted by a food stall, a children’s blow-up pool and a dj booth playing a mix of Sonic Youth and metal tunes. Deafheaven is one of those bands that reviewers and music journalists love to adorn with baroque epithets (“blackgaze”, “post-black-metal-shoegaze”, bla bla), but one thing we can state with certainty is that the band’s diversity of influences has brought them appeal that spans far wider than any other contemporary American metal band.

To say that the venue is sold-out is a little misleading, given Beta’s limited dimensions, but the small size brings with it a select and dedicated audience, ready to bliss out or rock hard, whatever the evening requires. Different reactions to the music give a good idea of the mindset of the listener: the obvious metalheads headbang in time with the black metal-inspired double kick drum, whereas those of us with leanings towards shoegaze and post-rock tend to nod along at half-time, focusing more on the waves of alternately distorted and reverb-laden guitars.

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

Coming at the end of a long summer tour, there is a touch of uncharacteristic tiredness to the band, and frontman George Clarke’s wide-eyed intensity comes off as a little contrived. But this criticism is limited: one has to remember that Deafheaven do not have thick layers of corpse-paint to hide behind. For all its elegant album covers and posters, the band does not indulge in myth-making outside of its music, and even in the cramped conditions of Beta, and muffled by much-needed earplugs, the long form majesty of it is undeniable. Standing so close to the band, I am mesmerized by Daniel Tracy’s impeccable drumming. Even in the hectic intensity of a song like “The Pecan Tree”, it manages to flow with a paradoxically light precision. And that is not something you will ever get at a traditional shoegaze concert.

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

The only moment of doubt comes with new track “From the Kettle Onto the Coil”, which for my tastes engages too much in the clichés of metal rather than subverting them (the breakdown in the middle being a particularly flagrant example of this), before essentially morphing into a cover of Slowdive’s “Alison”. The song sounds like a parody of Deafheaven, an attempt to replicate their music by a band who has only heard of them through clunky music press prose (“like a cross between Mayhem and Chapterhouse.” That one, thankfully, is made up). If anything, though, it serves to prove how, in Sunbather, Deafheaven are normally able to transcend the awkward juxtapositions of genre.

The set is short both in terms of time (just under an hour) and number of songs (five), but the decision to keep things brief, given the length of the actual songs, is a good one. No band can maintain this kind of mood for much longer without watering it down. And given the strange territories that other black-metal-influenced bands in the US are venturing into (Wolves in the Throne Room’s Celestite being a prime example), we must hope Deafheaven never go down the road to dilution.

Deafheaven (Photo by Tom Spray)

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