NORWEGIAN INDIE, SWEDISH BLUES-JAZZ AND DANISH BASS
Once again SPOT is ready to take you on a tour in today’s music world as a prelude to this year’s festival. This week we’ll start with Danish Alcabean, whom English Clash Magazine and Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke singled out as favorites a couple of years ago: Now the noise rock has been toned down and has evolved towards a more minimalist and fragile sound. An album is on its way.
Norwegian Tuvaband’s atmospheric, hoovering moods have long since passed 25 million streams on Spotify, and they have added lots of Brits and Americans to the fan base. Late Verlane for his part champions a rhythmically steadier and more hook-focused synth pop.
In the deep, soulful department we find Danish / Cuban ESPICHICOQUE, and there is also a splash of soul in Swedish Arvid Nero but in a much more countryish and bluesy wrapping and a distinctly acoustic sound. The acoustic feeling is also characteristic of Danish Hjalte Ross, who got Pink Floyd/Nico/ Nock Drake producer John Wood to supervise his latest album.
The Danish electronic scene is represented by a couple of crunchy top shoots: First there is RDG, who has got two labels of his own – Circle Vision and Surfase Records, has released 22 singles / EPs and has roots in industrial and especially bass music, while (Australian born) Sonny flirts with Balearic and dream house in his melancholy compositions. Finally, we have a couple of Danish-language acts – Bette (R’n’B) and FRAADS (souly/jazzy hip-hop).
With grand and monumental stadium rock as their starting point Danish Alcabean have conquered the hearts of both Danish and international rock fans. They have been named “the crown princes of noise rock” by Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke, and in March they are going to release their debut album ‘Confessions’, which also marks a change of style for the quartet. The album is an attempt to put into words and sound the insecurities and worries you have in your twenties.
Arvid Nero (SE)
In the spring of 2018 Arvid Nero released his debut album “Mother Earth”, which got great reviews in Swedish media. Musically Arvid easily passes through diverse genres. It has a feeling of blues to it although at times the tracks can sound more like country and at other times seem inspired by soul. Arvid Nero’s lyrics tend to tell stories of melancholy, and from February he will be touring as support for fellow Swedish singer Albin Lee Meldau.
Bette is a new Danish singer. Her first single ‘Forstår DIg Nok en Dag’ was released as a studio video on YouTube, and it got a lot of buzz including a recommendation from the Danish newspaper Politiken. Music has always been a big part of Bette’s life, but until last year this passion of her was a secret only the people really close to her knew about. Since her first single she has released the summer hit ‘Darling’, and recently she played at VEGAs Udvalgte 2019.
Half Cuban/half Danish Emilie Espicicoque [E·SPI·TJI·KÓ-KÆ] is deeply rooted in the Aarhus music scene, and she writes authentic R’n’B songs with soul and a touch of hip-hop. As Espichicoque she both sings and plays the drums, and when she is on stage, she’s backed up by an all-female band. In May 2018 ESPICHIQCOQUE released her second single ‘Lately’, which got praise from the Danish music site Bands of Tomorrow.
FRAADS is a Danish-language hip-hop duo consisting of Papa Erotica and David Engelbrecht whose lyrics explore themes like love, self-pity, and truth caught between a world of dreams and the real world. FRAADS’s newest EP from October 2018, ‘FRYYS’, is a release that reflects an ambition to take the genre to new places. On stage FRAADS is a load of energy And you’ve got to experience them live.
Hjalte Ross (DK)
Hjalte Ross is a young Danish songwriter, singer and guitarist. He released his debut album ‘Embody’ in the fall of 2018, an album of reflections upon a wide aspect of feelings. The lucidity and tactility in Ross’s calm vocals and his bold fingerpicking give ‘Embody’ the intense and timeless sound. Hjalte Ross’s songs are composed on acoustic guitar and tape recorders and, the nearly two-year process of finishing his debut album has led him to both Aberdeen and London.
Late Verlane (SE)
Late Verlane is the alter ego of Swedish Viktor Persson. With a musical past in different bands Viktor is now standing on his own two feet. The music is sonorous and catchy with experimental melodies, and the sound has a timeless quality, but at the same represents a fresh take on classical songwriting. Late Verlane recently premiered his first single ’Roll Like A Dummy’, and has been the object of much attention on music blogs and radio stations around the world.
RDG started producing music at the age of 12, and since then the energy from genres like punk and metal has brought him far as an artist. The sound is industrial but still organic and deeply connected with ‘sound system culture’, and the sound systems are extreme both physically and when it comes to sound level. Rather than genre, it is the atmosphere that dictates RDG’s sound, and that is why his inspiration ranges from techno, dub, and hip hop, to punk, ambient and grime.
Australian-born, but Copenhagen-based producer Sonny is a recent addition to the musical landscape of the Danish capital. Exploring elements of Balearic house and dream house, Sonny weaves tasteful sounds and occasional vocals together to convey feelings of nature, future and stirring melancholy. With three EPs ready for release this year, 2019 seems destined to be a defining year for the young producer.
Tuvaband released her debut album, ‘Soft Drop’, in the autumn of 2018 to critical acclaim. Playing live Tuvaband, together with her musicians, adds a new dimension to the songs by presenting a dynamic, more powerful sound. She is working on a new album for 2019, and the ambition is to add drums to create a grungier sound. Tuvaband has performed at both by:Larm and Eurosonic and as support for First Aid Kit.