January 29, 2014

A shitload of randomness...

Always way behind, but I'm used to it, so it no longer pisses me off. Or least I've become fairly pretty good at pretending that it doesn't. But for whatever reason, I've just recently discovered I Break Horses. They haven't exactly been the world's best kept secret, so how I missed out...I don't know. And I really don't care or see no point in figuring out why. Rambling on when all I'm trying to say is that Chiaroscuro is absolutely brilliant.

A friend of mine is trying to convince me that I should join him and some of our old compadres at this year's Roskilde Festival. Are you kidding me? I'm 45 years old and my body feels far more comfortable surrounded by five-star luxury than in a tent, with mud up to my knees and getting no sleep for a week. And the lineup so far doesn't exactly make anyone drool; does it? Add a few names and then perhaps I'd reconsider. But I won't give you any, because then you might actually book one (*cough* *Richard* *cough* *Hawley* *cough* *cough* *Doves*) or two of them, and thus forcing me to join the lads!

The release of new single Summer In Your Eyes by Danish one man project Kites and Komets might seem a bit oddly timed with a title like that. Especially when looking out the window and everything here is cold, white and windy. But listen to the lyrics and it all makes (a little) more sense. Musically it's a gorgeously catchy pop tune with (no surprise really) a wonderful summerly feel to it! No SoundCloud link, so you'll have to find it on iTunes etc. or use the Spotify link below (if the goddamn thing is working?).

Excellent Danish singer-songwriter Stærosaurus uploaded a fine new track yesterday from his forthcoming debut album Store Hoved (translates into Big Head in case you were wondering). Called Loopet (the loop) and I'll leave it to you guessing why it's called exactly that...

New Chorus Grant track, the achingly beautiful O Everyone, went straight in at number one on radio chart Barometerlisten. Vote, vote and vote again to please help the track stay at the top spot.

The Valleys & The Mountains...

New video for the new single by Danish "supergroup" The Mountains. Two pretty amazing singles released so far, so obviously I do expect the debut album The Mountains, The Valleys, The Lakes (out March 10) to be nothing short of a masterpiece (ok - a little less will do). With the debut single being named The Mountains, am I the only one expecting the band's next (and third) single to be called The Lakes?

And the video for The Mountains...

January 27, 2014

The Sun Days...

Starting a cold Monday morning with a new and gorgeously warm single from Sweden's The Sun Days. Five years ago I would probably have written something in the line of that "you only need to listen for three seconds before realizing that this band has to be from Sweden" (okay, okay wise guys - I know they start the song counting in Swedish, but that's not what I'm talking about...). Guess things haven't changed all that much, because Don't Need To Be Them has that absolutely wonderful, very typical and (apparently) enduring Swedish indie pop sound to it.

If you haven't (I hadn't) - do check out the band's debut single You Can't Make Me Make Up My Mind; it's an equally lovely slice of pop!

January 24, 2014


New demo track by promising UK quartet HUSH!. Not quite able to match their fabulous debut track There's Something In The Stars Tonight (and somehow I doubt they ever will), but Blush still manages to hold its own nicely and once again (the vocals especially) the band sounds somewhat New Order inspired (not that I mind at all!).

January 22, 2014

A Novel Resort...

This is about as fresh as it gets. Northern Portrait drummer recently started working on a solo project and yesterday the very first recording was published under the moniker A Novel Resort (no website/Facebook yet). When the message arrived, I was busy watching some show on Netflix, but Everything We Ever Hoped For quickly put an end to that. And Everything We Ever Hoped For certainly is just that; everything we could ever hope for! A grand, melancholic, beautiful and epic pop ballad, which (musically more than vocally) of course made me think of blog favorite Richard Hawley, which again is probably the biggest accolade I can give any other artist. If any of you remember enjoying The Mirror Lounge (& Northern Portrait companion Stefan Larsen’s former band), this new track will (for the second time) be everything (and much more) you could ever hope for. And finally to clear out a couple of things:
No – this doesn’t mean an end to M's involvement in Northern Portrait.
Yes – an album is on its way.
No – he doesn’t know when, where and how it will be released.
Yes – he’s written and recorded everything himself, so it is indeed a solo project.
Of course – I will keep you updated whenever there is news to share.

And if you’ve never heard of The Mirror Lounge mentioned above, I can only feel sorry for you. This will provide you with another and maybe final chance, so don’t miss out on it once again – ok?

January 21, 2014

O Everyone...

Start the day by checking out new single O Everyone from Chorus Grant. A quite introverted, anything but exuberant and, I guess, very typical singer-/songwriter piece, but at the same time very, very beautiful. New album out on Tambourhinoceros soon (January or February depending on the source)...

January 20, 2014

Cold Monday morning...

Someone somewhere must have a sick sense of humor. Up to the start of 2014 the winter in Denmark was probably among the warmest ever, but just around the exact moment earlier this month, when I was finally allowed to resume my running career, King Winter decided it was time to wake up from his slumber and return to action. Not only making it cold, but extremely windy (fucking hate wind – runners generally do) as well. Thank you so very, very much for trying your utmost to tear down whatever little motivation I’m able to build up, but please do go on if you like; you won’t stop me!

This glorious track by NY shoegaze duo The Blessed Isles popped up on SoundCloud not so many hours ago. Taken from the band’s forthcoming LP, which will be out later this year and if the rest of tracks are able to even remotely match Chase Away the Sun (truly not a very good title for a song on a day like today) it most certainly will be a real treat for any fan of the classic, epic, dream-pop sound.

Alphabeat, not exactly among the most featured bands around here, has decided to take a break to let the band members focus on various other musical projects. Recently lead singer Stine Bramsen lent her voice to Carpark North (which resulted in the surprisingly strong 32 – stream below) and today her debut solo single Prototypical hits the streets (hmmm – that’s a completely outdated expression – should probably be hits the airwaves and streams near you instead). Already picked up by Danish radio (it’s this week’s Uundgåelige (inevitable) on P3) and the live session version of the track was praised by a number of foreign bloggers last week. Actually I did hear the song on radio this morning and to be quite honest it didn't leave much of an impression! But then the video hit my mailbox earlier today and I decided to give it a few more spins. And I really should be to "experienced" to be surprised of what happened, because like it's often the case with a great song, it required a small effort before I fully started appreciating it. The song does no mark a radical career change or anything, because just like Alphabeat this is still pop music (though the track has a slight gospel feel). But it's less summer and bubblegum, has a far more mature expression without forgetting that most important thing is that a great pop song has to be catchy; and it sure is!

A preview of the song (apparently meaning that it's not the complete version)...

January 17, 2014

Black Light...

Haunting and chillingly cool new (it's from early December, so I guess it can still be called new) track (and video) by French (but Philadelphia based) electronic artist Sébastien Schuller. Light years from the stuff I normally post around here, but this one has really been getting under my skin (if you can actually use that expression in a positive way?)

Sebastien Schuller - Black Light from sebastien schuller on Vimeo.

January 16, 2014

Eternal death...

News->debut song from the most recent artist signed to Sweden's finest; Labrador Records. Eternal Death consists of...who knows, but please do start guessing!? Wouldn't be surprised though, if it's a kind of gimmick, where it at some later point will revealed that it's a constellation of artists involved in other Labrador related bands!?...but debut single Head is a really fine and catchy electronic pop single, which verifies that it's not a coincidence (whoever turns out to be hiding behind the alias) that this artist has been added to the Labrador roster.

January 14, 2014

Insanely busy days...

Work sucks pretty bad these days, but who really wants to read about that? Will keep the whining to myself and instead share this trio of songs found via my SoundCloud stream...

Spanish indie pop trio When Nalda Became Punk (what an awesome name) will have an EP out on Shelflife on March 4.

New track Stockholm by The New Division is electronic pop music at its very, very best!

The new single by Dum Dum Girls is probably all over the web already (haven't bother to check it out). No wonder if it is...it's instantly catchy and damn right brilliant!

January 10, 2014

Songs, songs, songs...

Still busy working my way through the mailbox and there have been times, when I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel. However it only takes one night's sleep to disappear again! So all I have for you today is this (hopefully) growing list of songs found in the mailbox...not just any songs...only the fairly decent (or better) ones of course!

And a video since they've decided (for whatever reason) not to make the SoundCloud stream embeddable...

More songs will be added during the day (I hope)...

A tough day in the office today, but have finally managed to find another track matching the "decent or better" criteria!

Closing today's post with this little synth pop gem recommended by (who else?) J.A.

January 8, 2014

Go and bite your tongue...

Just stumbled upon this updated and absolutely superb version of (his own) Don't Tell, Don't Fall by Dane Bjørn Alexander Lange, who previously, when putting out songs, has been working under the alias Flag White. Dreamy, catchy, poppy and yet a tiny bit shoegazy, sounding very much like a love child of Blue Foundation and Mew.

And here's the older version of the same track...

And here's yet another version (this one's four months old)...

Yesterday's version (that's the first one of three) remains the best!

January 7, 2014

Arcades and Valleys...

Hello again. This is the fifth post of the year, so has kicked of the new year on quite a frantic pace; don’t you think? No not really, but will do my best to beat last year’s measly total of 120 posts. I couldn’t help thinking last night before falling asleep that it must be some odd mix of stubbornness and ignorance that makes me continue with the blogging. I mean; everyone knows that blogs are dead. Well everyone except me!

Just a random pick from my SoundCloud feed. And quite a lucky pick it is, as new single New York, New York by Sweden’s Tiger Forest Cat is a really sweet and catchy pop tune. You know; one of those glorious pop songs the your only need to listen to for 10 seconds before realizing that it has to be by a Swedish artist.

Electronic UK duo New Arcades have had potential written all over them for quite some time now, but somehow I’m still waiting for them to hit that home run. New track Stay In My Sight has almost everything you could ask for, but sadly it lacks that killer chorus that would convert the song from being fine to absolutely fantastic.

New single The Valleys by Danish “super-group” The Mountains was released yesterday. It’s beautiful and dreamy, but not quite as immediately overwhelming as the self-titled debut single. But how could it possibly be and The Valleys is a fairly convincing second single. Hope the Spotify embedding is working OK?

January 6, 2014

The cleaning continues...

Actually I continued deleting emails long after posting on Friday and during the day decided to delete every email in my inbox from before December 1, 2013 (which left me with a more manageable but still quite staggering 632 emails). Lost count, but the number of deleted emails definitely surpassed 10,000. So if you never received a reply, then stop waiting, because you won’t! Especially sad to see many of the unread recommendations from J.A. and the lads hit the bin, which undoubtedly and unfortunately means that I have missed out on some seriously great stuff. But to reduce the stress level and once again giving myself an actual chance to check out (or at least scan) the majority emails I receive (to hopefully once again being up to far or maybe even once in a while be a first mover), it was something that simply had to be done.

Enough words for today; instead I'll let the music do the talking and leave you with these three really nice ones that I've found during the "process".

January 3, 2014

Lust for you...

Just before the weekend kicks in, the incomparable J.A. strikes again and recommends this stunning guitar pop beauty from Russian (!) band Hospital called Lust For You. If you (if it was possible of course) try to blend Coldplay and Puressence, I believe there would be a fairly decent chance that you'd end up with something sounding quite similar to this.

And the video is quite a beauty too...

Cleaning the mailbox...

The number of visitors keeps dwindling, but nonetheless the emails keep arriving in large quantities. So today I will once again spend a little time going through emails, listening, deleting, looking lost and (hopefully) from time to time being able to smile just a little.

On paper a Hungarian punk rock band doesn't sound especially appealing and not quite like something I'd normally check out, but War and Peace by Budapest trio Bankrupt- is a pleasantly strong guitar pop tune (and not really sounding any punkish at all). And if you feel like giving it a spin, there's also a version of the song sung in Hungarian available at SoundCloud!

Swim by UK act Fickle Friends has already been posted by a number of other blogs (Hypem makes it pretty pointless pretending otherwise), but I simply have to be a copycat and post it as well; because on a cold, dark and slightly depressive January day like today, it's healthy dose of fresh air and sun I believe we are all in dire need of.

Another song all over Hypem (so much for be obscure today) is Into the Night by US duo Carousel...but seriously. I cannot recall the last time I was blown away by a pop song this pure and wonderful? Will be listening to this one the rest of the day, so the post ends right here...

Will bring the broom with me again on Monday, so expect a few more posts like this one next week!

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year...!

2014 has arrived, so I’ll take a second to wish the few of you still reading a happy new year and hope that you have all had a great start to the new year! No resolutions, promises or whatever you prefer to call it, but for one more year I’ll do my best to keep the blog alive. It’s pretty obvious that my heart is not quite in it any longer, but cannot help thinking of the blog as my third child; so abandoning it isn’t and won’t be easy. Anyway; let’s wait and see what 2014 brings, but there are already plenty of interesting things to be looking forward to:

Kashmir will be at Kulturværftet on February 1 and despite being a fan of the band since the release of The Good Life nearly 15 years ago, this will be the first time I’ll see the band live.

Then of course there’s the debut concert of The Mountains on February 21. So far the band’s debut album is by far my most anticipated release of 2014.

Oliver North Boy Choir has announced that they will start playing live in 2014 and for this purpose (and probably for numerous other reasons as well) the band has expanded the line-up with a fourth member. New recordings are in the making, so stay tuned for more updates!

Old favorite Jonas Villumsen has signed a record deal and a new release (EP) is said to be out on March 17.

It’s probably very hush hush, but friendly and innovative people are working on putting together a Copenhagen Popfest later this year. The popfest in 2010 was a blast, so a 2014 edition would certainly be most welcomed.

Finally I expect that the steady flow of recommendations from my quartet of music friends (Chris, Peter, J.A. and Rodolfo) will continue in 2014. And why not start out right away with this fine little pop tune by The Soft Look (recommended by J.A.)?