Death Machine - 'Cocoon' (and new single 'Under the Pillow')
If truth be told, we weren't going to write a 'Death Machine' album review, but their 'Cocoon' release has really grown on me over recent weeks, so wanted to get something short in about the whole album, rather than concentrating on their latest single, This is an album which was released back in April, so we are a bit late on finding them, and our omission was even noted by another Danish musician who kindly mailed us recommending the band, so they are clearly really well respected too.
Behind 'Death Machine' is the musician Jesper Mogensen, who started the project back in 2013, and after initially releasing a self-titled album, it has developed into a full band, and performances at festivals such as SPOT and Uhort, as well as playing gigs with bands such as the Attic Sleepers, whom we have covered previously. 'Cocoon' seems have really gown momentum, with each single release getting good coverage on Danish radio, and it was their latest single 'Under the Pillow' which really caught our attention.
'Cocoon' is a beautifully written and stylish album, that takes influences from folk and synth artists from the 80's. The instrumentation is 'full' and yet vocally Jesper Mogensen is able to maintain an intimacy through his vocals that does genuinely make it feel as if he's singing right next to you. I'll highlight just a few tracks. 'Bring it Back' opens the album and the vocal harmonies echo intensely, before they switch to just the solo vocal singing alone, and I think it's a really clever effect. 'Cocoon' was released as a single earlier this year, and understandably so, it has a flowing melodic quality to it, but it is soft and soothing on the ears too.
I love the musical theme that carries 'Bleak' through, whilst 'Disco Blues' even has a hint of Sufjan Stevens about it, which makes me warm to it even more. 'Underground' has a heartfelt and expressive chorus, and the manner in which it is introduced gives it a real power, but it is the latest single 'Under the Pillow' which really stands out, opening with a single piano note, followed by acoustic guitar, the song builds with moving if slightly mournful vocals, before the song opens up with the most sensitive of melodies, and a delicately delivered piano line. Final track 'When You Sleep' is another measured song, but again it's those carefully crafted tunes which makes the music so appealing.
'Cocoon' is an album you really need to listen to 3 or 4 times to really appreciate, it has a style and a conviction that makes it both appealing and interesting. The songs are melancholy and intimate, at times spiritual sounding in their vocal quality and delivery, and ultimately I've found myself uplifted by the album, which is something I didn't expect when I first heard it. Clearly this is a band on the rise, with an impressive live performance pedigree and genuine musicianship at the heart of everything they do. I really hope you like 'Cocoon'.
Nordic Music Review 8/10