nedjelja, 27. siječnja 2013.

Indians - Somewhere Else (2013)

Indians - Somewhere Else

Uvijek naiđe neki noveteričan danski pop-bend.
Perfume Genius pregažen Bon Iverom = Søren Løkke Juul.

Coming to the attention of 4AD after a clutch of demo tracks went online early in 2012, Indians emerged in a fittingly understated manner and with Somewhere Else, have made both an assured and majestic debut album.
From Copenhagen, Indians is all the work of one man, Søren Løkke Juul, who brought his band in to being when he felt the need to challenge himself and do something different. Not aiming for anything other than satisfying a creative urge, things have snowballed quickly for him ever since.
Performing his first show as Indians in February 2012, he self-released his debut single on 7” a few months later and has since extensively toured both Europe and North America, playing shows with the likes of Beirut, Bear In Heaven, Dan Deacon, Lower Dens, Other Lives, Perfume Genius, Retribution Gospel Choir, Savages and Weird Dreams. To cap it off, he’s joined fellow countrymen Efterklang in signing to 4AD, doubling the number of Scandinavian acts on their roster.
Over the summer months, Søren retreated to a studio in the Danish countryside to finish his early demos and write new material to make Somewhere Else a personal document that’s equal parts melancholic lament and hopeful stargazing, the title itself an indication of the sense of otherness that runs throughout. Evocative of the natural world, its cavernous tones and Autumnal warmth reflect the vastness of the landscape that formed the backdrop of its conception. -

Indians, the musical alter ego of Copenhagen resident Søren Løkke Juul, have signed to 4AD worldwide. While Indians only played their first concert in their hometown in February 2012 and self-released their debut single in April, they’ve already garnered enough attention to perform shows across Europe and in North America, playing shows with the likes of Beirut, Bear In Heaven, Lower Dens, Weird Dreams and Retribution Gospel Choir over this Summer.
On the back of this early momentum, Indians today mark their signing to 4AD with their installment in the 4AD Session series. Filmed over the course of one day on Osea Island – a little-known, privately owned island in the estuary of the Blackwater in Essex – the starting point for the performance was embracing the challenge of playing, recording and filming outside, placing the music into a vast open space, under sky and near water.
With the intention to capture the sense of air and atmosphere in the music, each track was recorded in a different location, moving the band and cameras in order to introduce a new element that reflected the change in song. This was further complimented by the shift in light: the session begins with ‘I Am Haunted’ filmed just after high tide in the early afternoon, is then followed ‘Magic Kids’ just as the sun had set, and ends with ‘New’ filmed after dark in the small hours of the morning. While still flecked with the surreal ambience of Søren’s air-tight compositions, the full-band performance adds a foreboding sense of wonder that provides a fitting introduction into Indians’ very own natural world.
indians 2013 560x372 Indians   Somewhere Else
Stunning. Astonishing. Glistening. This is just a try of putting the first impression about INDIANS into words. INDIANS – this is Søren Løkke Juul, a Danish guy from Copenhagen, who is multi-talented in singing, playing different instruments and, as you’ll probably discover, in composing. With his amazing debut, Somewhere Else, he created a full and warm carpet of sounds that invites the listener to go on a dreamlike journey.
INDIANS was born in order to satisfy the needs of finding creative expression, for doing something different without having any requirements or prospects. Søren Løkke Juul performed his first show as INDIANS in February 2012. After that, he released his debut single Magic Kids, which is about all those marvelous and bodacious feelings of childhood, going to be forgotten by most adults. Quite aware of the risk of losing curiosity and creative power, Søren Løkke Juul hit the road through Europe and North America for doing it in his own way in playing a lot of shows. Finally, he gets signed by 4AD, the label of BON IVER, DAUGHTER, EFTERKLANG and THE NATIONAL. His first record Somewhere Else is going to be released on January 29th.
Songs named Bird, Melt and Somewhere Else cause some expectations for the listener. Gladly, they are going to be achieved by an unexpected variety of sounds, combined with lyrics praising the beauty of melancholia and the different faces of life. Like a magician, INDIANS manages to connect electronic sounds and acoustic instruments to a perfect soundtrack for a winter’s saturday. To detect the entire enchantment of Somewhere Else, you need to slow down and minimize distraction. Close your door, open the window and feel the cold breeze of winter that surrounds your nose, wandering through your lungs and refreshing your thoughts.
In contrast to the first songs, which are carried by electronic sounds and double-layer voices, The Haunted Man introduces a driving acoustic guitar as a first indication for INDIANS’ lust for experimenting. One highlight of Somewhere Else is the song Lips, Lips, Lips. It evolves from less accompanied vocals to an up-beat-number fading out into deep beats and glittering sound-effects, which remove really slow directly into space. Melt catches the listener with a wonderful piano and the statement of moving on after going through sorrows. INDIANS’ debut Somewhere Else ends up with the same titled song, which feels like the final curtain of an intensive and rousing journey through mind and heart. This song won’t leave you unaffected.
If this is how 2013 starts musically, then it’s going to be a great one – providing that it’s possible to create something more touching than this record. Since it’s not appropriate to analyze it any further, I would rather like to close with the last and fitting words of INDIANS’ debut: “I lost my heart to you, but you are somewhere else.”- Luise Köhler 

It’s been a swift rise to the giddying heights of not really being that well known at all from being completely unknown except to friends and family for Copenhagen’s Søren Løkke Juul – now aka INDIANS – who has his debut long player Somewhere Else coming out on the esteemed 4AD Records this month as well as support slots for the likes of Beirut and Perfume Genius – and if you’re a fan of either or both of those acts then I strongly recommend giving this record a whirl.
There’s a quiet assuredness about this record; it sounds and feels accomplished and affirmed arguably beyond it’s debut status. It opens with a warm embrace; which is always the best way to meet a new person from Denmark.
Track two, Bird feels like watching it’s name sake busying itself building a nest or collecting worms or whatever it is they are doing in the garden when I look out the window while listening to this. To be fair, it could be argued that this feels like watching birds because I was, actually watching birds – but I like to think that was just a coincidence. I tested this theory and the gentle rocking strum of I Am Haunted, while Søren’s voice is, indeed, haunting in the title-refrain, there were no actual poltergeists – so you can rest assured that the record doesn’t actually affect reality in some weird paranormal way. No pixies of fairies actually arrived during Magic Kids either – except via the glistening audio tinker-bell shimmers that exuded out my speakers and danced around my ears.

I am eager to watch to see if this record is a one off project; which is totally valid if it is; or more excitingly, the debut of a brand new gorgeous sounding artist with more to offer in the future. By the time Lips Lips Lips or Reality Sublime are washing over you in Danish dream-pop waves the record is quite heavenly if you are inclined to let it this sort of thing soak into you. For me, it’s like a new musical moisturiser – gently invigorating and replenishing; it’ll work as a gentle warming start to your morning or a soothing close to your busy day to massage your tired ears.
The title and closing track is just sublime. -
So I’ve not read Indians’ biography. Or at least, I think I read it sometime last year, but I can’t remember what it said. I saw a picture, though! On an advert for a gig – ‘Indians’ appears to be one guy, with fun facial hair. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t American, somewhere in his early to mid-twenties. And he’s signed to 4AD, which I guess still comes with some connotations. And, er, that’s about all I’ve got.
Bar the music, anyway, and that’s the thing – when it comes to the brand of bedroomy dreampop proffered by Indians and their ilk, avoidance of big statements, big emotions and - in general – personality seems so intrinsic that I don't really see what the point in getting to grips with anyone's life story is. I mean, what if Mr Indians was raised by wolves in the woods outside of Bon Iver’s log cabin and, you know, killed a man when he was 14? I guess it’s be a talking point, but I’m not sure it’d give any insight into his gently chiming, lyrically vague bedroom symphonies.
So basically Somewhere Else is about as punk rock as a round of polo. But much as it’s difficult to embrace such anonymous music wholeheartedly, the record has an enjoyable purity – unbound by any sort of baggage, emotional or otherwise, you can appreciate the form, the shape, the craft in the abstract, shorn of any sort of context.
Opener ‘New’ gently ushers itself in on a bed of aqueous chimes reminiscent of the foggy earlier works of Beach House, before Mr Indians slices in with his thin, high voice pleasantly flitting through the hubbub, until somewhere around the song’s midpoint it suddenly soars , the vocals rising into a swell of sound, as the singer declares “I’m always, always too late”… I’m still not sure it means a lot, but it’s unspeakably pretty, and in this dreamily quiescent record, little surges and builds are immaculately deployed, little sonic victories that tingle with the euphoria of songs ten times more bombastic.
And it’s nicely cohesive, pretty, misty songs bound together by a harpsichord-like ringing (heck, it might be a harpsichord!) and the inevitable lush reverb. Beautiful, but I’m not sure you could really pin an emotion onto any of it, or at least not until the final stages, where Somewhere Else finally picks up a bit of pounding abandon with its yearning, gently epic title track.
So yeah, Somewhere Else’s lack of real personality bothers me. But if that’s the way things are heading – for a while at least – then let’s try and relate to our new, anonymous overlords. I mean, I guess personality isn’t always a plus – the also rans of every scene from rock’n’roll to modern chart pop have tended to ‘borrow’ their identities from their scene leaders; maybe the relative isolation of individual musicians these days means they’re not raised in an environment where the adoption of a personality is important for survival. I dunno. Does music need to be attached to a band, to have a guiding personality? Or is all that just packaging to try and sell the music – shouldn’t the existence of the music itself be enough?
Maybe it should. But while there are some lovely sounds on Somewhere Else... but it’s hard not to yearn for something more. - Andrzej Lukowski
Given that Indians mastermind Søren Løkke Juul only played his first gig under the name around a year ago, it’s certainly remarkable that his debut album Somewhere Else arrives sounding quite this fully formed and coherent.  First records are often blighted by slight missteps and experiments that one can overlook due to the naivety of those behind their recording – it certainly doesn’t mean that greater things can’t follow.  But Juul seems very aware of his place in the musical landscape and the function that Indians can perform – this is anything but the sound of a band finding their feet.
Indians make the kind of hazy, synth heavy, atmospheric indie pop that you’d be forgiven for thinking is the only kind of indie pop people make these days.  But to their credit, they have a more wide-eyed sound, both eclectic and classic, that sees them eschew the signature bleeps and bloops of flash-in-the-pan genres like chillwave in favour of something with slightly more credibility. Indians certainly don’t look out of place on the 4AD roster, with numbers like opener (and standout track) ‘New’ and the effortlessly elegant ‘Lips Lips Lips’ suggesting Juul’s record collection probably does have a fair bit of Cocteau Twins in it.
Seldom veering away from this template is what provides Somewhere Else its density and coherence, but it’s also Indians’ biggest problem.  Rarely ever using percussion is a very deliberate trick, one that allows songs to drift into one another in a way that makes the record quite the immersive experience, but it also doesn’t half make the thing sound samey.  Songs here like ‘Melt’ are so calculatedly vague that it’s almost like their purpose is to disappear whilst you’re hearing them; an interesting idea, but one that in practice can leave you feeling a little empty.  When Juul does get round to unveiling a few rhythmic flourishes, such as on the comparatively upbeat ‘Reality Sublime’, it provides the album with the kind of lift it could do with finding a lot more often.
Sadly, so much of Somewhere Else exists in such a haze that it’s difficult to really find anything to sink one’s teeth in to.  Any section of one particular song could show up in any other song with only minor tinkering and not sound out of place.  I’m certain that this is deliberate – as discussed previously, Juul knows what Indians are for, and in fairness this is a sound that’s been completely nailed.  Yet sounding so accomplished within this particular aesthetic at such an early stage in his career is something to get quite excited about – and if Juul can find a way out of the fog his songs currently wander around, I’d say he’s perfectly capable of delivering an exciting record too.-

Indians makes sense at this time of year. The works of Danish artist Søren Løkke Juul, these songs belong to days where gazing onto a frozen scene from the comfort of a heated home is a fine way to pass time. February in Denmark is the country’s coldest month, with a mean temperature of zero degrees Celsius. But with Somewhere Else on the stereo, the listener should easily chase away any chills.
This debut isn’t the most immediately transcendental, take-one-elsewhere collection; but its 10 tracks do cast a gentle spell on their audience, Søren’s slight, treated-into-ethereality vocals woven around arrangements that politely meander around elements both acoustic and electronic. At times it’s akin to Grizzly Bear at their more sedate; others, like Young Magic with the tripping tendencies dialled right down. Comparisons to Bon Iver have been made previously, and it’s easy to hear why.
Frequent evocations of predecessors takes nothing away from the obvious strengths of Søren’s songwriting – with such a stripped-back sound presented, parallels are always likely to come quickly on a cursory listen. But revisit Somewhere Else and its own qualities become more evident: Melt, coincidentally also the title of the aforementioned Young Magic’s debut LP, is a hypnotic meditation on finding strength in sorrowful situations, capped by a beautiful piano coda.
Elsewhere, Magic Kids’ slow-pulsing synths back plaintive lyrics locked in lamentation – “I like to see your eyes / But your eyes do not see any longer” – and New bubbles with warm electronics perfectly complementing a double-tracked vocal. It’d recall MGMT, if the psychedelic duo were in the business of wearing hearts on tatty sleeves rather than gleaming space helmets.
Somewhere Else certainly reveals itself slowly, but persist and there’s real beauty to be found here. Understated and unhurried, it showcases an artist whose star isn’t rapidly ascending towards the stratosphere of indie’s most celebrated. But track Søren’s continuing course starting now, as there’s potential in these quietly confident compositions, enough at least to soundtrack a handful of escapist dreams while snow drifts block one’s return to icy reality. - Mike Diver

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