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Albums of the year 2014

in Blog by
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

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.

VIDEO: Ønskeøen – “Forceful Bliss”

in Blog/New Music by

Ønskeøen has just released a new video “Forceful Bliss”. Ønskeøen is based in Copenhagen and features members of CodyThe Rumour Said Fire,  From Sarah, and Sleep Party People.

 

PHOTOS: Trailerpark Festival

in Photos by

Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

Reptile Youth
Reptile Youth
Communions
Communions
Trailerpark audience
Trailerpark audience
Shiny Darkly
Shiny Darkly
Le1f
Le1f
Get Your Gun
Get Your Gun
Christopher
Christopher

 

Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Broke
Broke
Sleep Party People
Sleep Party People
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Trailerpark festival ambience
Ice Cream Cathedral
Ice Cream Cathedral
Baby In Vain
Baby In Vain
Trailerpark Festival audience
Trailerpark Festival audience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Mont Oliver
Mont Oliver
Naomi Pilgrim
Naomi Pilgrim
Sea Change
Sea Change
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Giana Factory
Giana Factory
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Sekuoia
Sekuoia
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience
Trailerpark Festival ambience

Thanks to Sony for letting us try their new Sony a7S camera

Check out Charlie Cassarino’s festival report 

See also photos from the individual days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Trailerpark Festival report

in Live Reviews by

Arriving early at a concert in Copenhagen is tremendously unfashionable, and at a festival doubly so. The benefit of being at Trailerpark in the afternoon is being able to explore the various tents, trailers and assorted installations before they are covered under a mass of pretty people. The festival focuses as much on constructing creative and comfortable spaces as it does on the music, and this year is no exception. As well as the eponymous trailers—one made up to look like a Lynchian crime scene, complete with smoke machine and eerie music, another a Tinder-sponsored shag-shack—there are swings made of recycled pallets, surrealist plush sculptures, rum cabañas and a tent devoted to what can only be described as audio-visual terrorism.

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The Tinder-trailer during a quite moment.

Fans of poor decision-making are welcome to try a spot of tattoo roulette—quite literally spinning a wheel to decide what image will be indelibly etched onto your skin—and in the wilder hours of Friday even an over-cautious curmudgeon like yours truly has to exercise a significant amount of self-restraint to avoid it. Those in search of less permanent damage can get a lopsided haircut and a single leg shaved by a bunch of clowns in bondage gear. Pretty standard fare, really.

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There is perhaps no better place than here to take stock of the quality and diversity of the Danish scene, the line-up consisting almost entirely of homegrown talent. This, however, is the only constant. One can wander away from a hip hop act at Royal stage and suddenly come across an emissary of the Mayhem/Posh Isolation scene at Outdoor stage. Throughout, DJs and smaller electronic acts are blasting away in the intimate enclave of Rebel stage.

Thursday

The day starts relatively peacefully with Alice Boman’s wistful folk pop, which transitions neatly into the music of CODY, Copenhagen’s post-folk collective and arguably one of the most talented groups of musicians in the city. Drawing primarily on material from Windshield, their latest album, the six-piece (but depending on the day there could just as easily be eight people on stage, or even just the one) manage to work their wealth of instruments into a beautifully simple whole.

The rest of the day is devoted mainly to electronic acts. Among the most promising newer artists are Mont Oliver, who add a touch of Madchester swagger to their performance (seriously, the guy at the keyboards is even wearing one of those floppy 90s fishing hats). Later on, Ice Cream Cathedral filled Outdoor stage with their pop pyschedelia, followed by a mesmeric Sekuoia.

Ice Cream Cathedral
Ice Cream Cathedral
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Cody

Baby In Vain did their best to convert the crowd to Satan, before Julias Moon could do is darndest to become the Danish equivalent of Michael Jackson.

Friday

Though every day at Trailerpark has its moments, Friday is the one that does its best to physically and mentally destroy festival-goers. In the most positive sense of the phrase, naturally. Hand Of Dust and Get Your Gun bring a dark and twisted version of Americana to town, though their early slots mean that only a handful of the most dedicated are able to witness any of it.

The tone for the rest of the evening is set by New York rapper Le1f. Preceded by a brief display from an acrobat in bondage gear (a phrase I don’t get to use enough), Khalif Diouf exudes equal parts sexuality (consider that barely an hour later will see a DJ set from someone called DJ Cockwhore) and flighty exuberance.  Cutting songs short when he gets tired of them, Le1f makes it clear that he is here to have as much fun as the audience.

Le1f
Le1f

Though Sleep Party People’s mix of lullabies and post-rock is both a visually and aurally captivating experience, the true energy of the evening is found with two bands:  Reptile Youth and Broke. Though the former is considerably more famous, the two share similarities in sound and attitude, guitar-led dance music and physicality. I can personally attest to having had Reptile Youth’s frontman Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen land on my head twice during improperly announced stage dives, and Broke’s frontman developed a liking for humping one of the central tent poles of Outdoor stage.

Reptile Youth
Reptile Youth

All this can only be topped by the utter perfection (in the eyes and ears of this reviewer at least) of The Felines, who bring wide smiles and awkward attempts at the twist to the 4am crowd.

Saturday

Fans of Danish “pop sensations” and hip hop acts must forgive me, but the real stars of the final day of Trailerpark are all at Outdoor stage. First Hate are possibly the dorkiest duo I have ever seen, which automatically makes them cooler than anyone in this tremendously well-dressed audience. It helps that they almost flawlessly channel Speak and Spell-era Depeche Mode, down to the Dave Gahan-esque vocals and dance moves. It’s pure and unabashed synth-pop, and it instantly converts all those present.

If prizes were being awarded, one would have to go to Communions, who have transformed into a much more mature band in the intervening months since our last encounter with them. The punk attitude is still there, but it no longer has a stranglehold over their sound, and finally they devote themselves to the wiry jangle-pop that was always lurking underneath the discordant tone and shambolic compositions. Those of us who spent the bike-ride to Enghave listening exclusively to Felt (or is that just me?) are in for a very pleasant surprise.

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Communions

As people gather to watch Shiny Darkly, it is evident that they are precisely the same hand-picked audience that attended First Hate and Communions. Apparently I have become a stereotype, though what that might be is unclear. Though perhaps the most obviously post-punk oriented of all the acts at Trailerpark, Shiny Darkly do not simply emulate their elders and betters. The raw riffs and chanted vocals are driven by a spartan and effective rhythm section, and on occasion even joined by a violinist or a trumpet player. The extra instruments are used with an ear for noise and harmonics as much as they add an extra layer of melody to the songs. At any rate they bespeak a level of ambition that is the mark of a healthy music scene. The likes of S!vas and Christopher might bring in the punters, but visitors looking for the true energy of the city should follow the leather jackets.

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Shiny Darkly

 View  the galleries from Trailerpark Festival here:

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

All days

Thanks to Sony for letting us try the new Sony a7S camera.

All photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

PHOTOS: Trailerpark Festival, Day 2, 01.08.2014

in Photos by

Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Get Your Gun

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Hand Of Dust

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Trailerpark Festival ambience

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Sea Change

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Le1f

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Trailerpark Festival ambience

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Reptile Youth

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Emil Germ

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Sleep Party People

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Trailerpark Festival ambience

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Broke

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Ghost Venue

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Thanks to Sony for giving us the opportunity to try their new Sony a7S camera

Sleep Party People – Floating in Oakland

in Blog by

Photos by Tom Spray

May 2014: Spot Festival, the most important industry festival of the Danish music scene. Brian Batz, the man behind Sleep Party People, enters the scene. He is 32 years old, but he feels as if he is a teenager. He is nervous. In retrospect it reminds him of the first time he went on stage with Sleep Party People as support for The Antlers at The Jazz House, Copenhagen, in 2010. But a lot has happened in four years. He is onstage in Århus to perform his third album, “Floating,” from start to finish. It will be the first time the world hears it. In their hands he and his band carry the rabbit masks that have become such an important visual aspect of Sleep Party People. To Brian Batz showing his face is unusual. What is also unusual is that album that Sleep Party People are about to play for the audience was written and recorded in just one month.

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A floating soul

The story begins in mid-2012, when Brian Batz receives an email from Mikael Johnston, a producer based in San Francisco or rather Oakland which is located on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Mikael Johnston wrote that he had heard Sleep Party People and that he loved it. Would Brian Batz like to make a record with Mikael Johnston and Jeff Saltzman, an old hand in the profession, whom among other things has worked with Morrissey and The Killers. It is an offer Brian Batz cannot turn down and on February 15, 2014 – approximately one and a half years later – he’s sitting in the plane on the way to San Francisco. But he has not had time to write new material.

“I had written one song and I my conscience was killing me – I actually tried to move the trip, because I thought: Fuck, I can’t go there without any material. They be expecting that I return with an album or something”.

 Nevertheless Brian Batz throws himself into it. He checks himself into a posh hotel in a run down part of Oakland and starts to work. In the daytime he works in the studio, in the evening hours he returns to his hotel room to make sketches for new material on his computer. After one and a half weeks at the hotel he moves into Mikael Johnston’s living room, and from then on he no longer has his own space. This will leave a mark on his work. He starts thinking about being in the company of others, and this inspires the lyrics, he explains:

“I was very interested in how I behave in social situations, because I was constantly pressured to be with new people – and I do not consider myself good at that; I need my own space, and it was just not possible when I slept at the couch in Mikael’s condo, where everything was just open.

I think it is interesting compared to what family you come from, and how one’s parents, for example, behave in such a situation. It is actually what many of the lyrics are about.

I also think that this is why the album is a little flighty or even psychedelic, as some people say. I believe that it comes from the fact, that if you do not really have a stand, you are a lost soul in some way – or so I felt. I had no peace. That’s probably why there are no quiet piano songs on the album – except for one, but that was written at home “

Brian Batz asked the artist Roby Dwi Antono, who also made the cover art for Sleep Party People’s second album ‘We Were Drifting On A Sad Song “, if he could illustrate precisely the feeling that he had during the process. On the cover of “Floating” is a girl who wears a rabbit mask. She hovers, apparently lifeless, in the air and out of her shoots a plant.

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The man and the rabbit

Back on stage in Aarhus, Sleep Party People put their masks on and start to play the new material. To the trained ear something else has changed. On the new album, Brian Batz’s voice is more naked, there are not so many effects.

“I’ve turned down the rabbit voice, as people call it, quite a bit. It was necessary for me to do. It’s been a sonic thing that has taken up a lot in the Sleep Party People universe, and therefore I had the need to say, “Now I’m in San Francisco to make a record, it must be quite different from what I normally do: It must be analog, it should be like a band playing”.

In an interview with When The Sun Hits from 2010, he explains how the idea of the ​​rabbit mask came as a result of the special vocal he had developed. It made him think that it was how rabbits would sound if they sang.

With the clean vocals he thought that it would be a good idea to let the mask fall in the  background; Sleep Party People will still be in rabbit masks when they play live, but the rabbit gives way a little to the man behind.

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The Bass Bomb

Floating is also the first album that Brian Batz has not produced at home in his own studio. He has limited himself 24 tracks, and thus had to move away from the rich Wall Of Sound production which he previously used.

 “I love playing with effects and let things lie at the bottom and set the mood – and I could not set the bar the same way because I can not let 24 tracks lie at the bottom, as I usually do, because I have already exhausted my quota. It has been important to me that you can hear what’s going on in the mix. I’ve really been inspired by the work under these constraints, and more forced to think about what works.”

Floating is also the first Sleep Party People album where there have been others inside the process of making the record. Brian Batz says “using their ears” and getting to concentrate 100% on playing the music, not having to place microphones and so on, has helped him a lot. And then he enjoyed the atmosphere in studio with a myriad of people hanging out. He tells a story about a girl called Lisa Light, who one night, as he is working on the song called “I See the Moon”, enters the room with half a bottle of whiskey in her hand. She sits around for a while watching Brian play his guitar, and then, out of nowhere she gets up, picks a bass, plugs it into the soundcard, goes to the computer, makes a track, and starts playing.

 “I was just thinking that I wanted to play some bass on your record. Is it cool if I just press record now and we go from there?”

Batz says yes.

“Had it been in Copenhagen, and it had been a friend of mine, my reaction would have been something like: “What the hell are you doing? I am jamming with myself, and then you just ruin it”.

But Lisa did had such a fine approach, he says, and she got her way and sings and plays bass on the track “I see the moon.” The spontaneous way the song came alive, makes it a special song to Brian Batz.

“It is a very unusual song to me, because I like to have control and that my work is well thought through. I just did not had the opportunity to work this way with this song and I think that’s very cool. “

Brian Batz flew home March 15. If you ask him what he took with him home, besides a newly written and newly recorded album, he replies that he verified that one must dare to move out into the unfamiliar and test his limits – for which he notes that he was quite nervous when he flew over. The trip home was different.

“It was quite strange because when I got into the plane, I was like “fuck, how crazy. What is it that I have made? It was two weeks before I could listen to it. I was about to hear with fresh ears, what it was I had created.”

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VIDEO: Sleep Party People – “Floating Blood Of Mine”

in Blog/New Music by

Sleep Party People have shared a video for current single “Floating Blood Of Mine” from their recently released album Floating (May 30th) on Blood and Biscuit Records. The trippy video of shifting colours and shapes was directed by head bunny himself Brian Batz.

Watch the video for “Floating Blood Of Mine” below:

Ice Cream Cathedral + Sleep Party People | Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 23.05.2014

in Photos by

Sleep Party People

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Ice Cream Cathedral

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VIDEO: Ønskeøen – Sleeping Is Free

in Blog/New Music by

Ønskeøen has just released a new video for ‘Sleeping Is Free’. The Copenhagen based band was formed last year at Musik I Lejet and features members of Cody, The Rumour Said Fire,  From Sarah, and Sleep Party People. The video was made by Brian Batz of Sleep Party People.

 

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