'Josa Barck' - 'Keep Your Batteries Warm' (album)
We have a small collection of newish Nordic Albums and EP's we've been hoarding, and in order to get through them all we're going to try and keep our reviews relatively short and concise, starting with Danish artist 'Josa Barck's album 'Keep Your Batteries Warm', which was released in Denmark through Tangleville Records in conjunction with the Wonder Why Music Company couple of weeks ago.
'Josa Barck' (otherwise known as the musician Jacob Rask) is certainly an interesting character, and has been working on the release for 2 years, the album being a follow up his debut 'Eureka, which you can find easily on streaming services. Previously a live musician with bands such as 'Alphabeat' and 'The Broken Beats', 'Barck' creates a world through his music that he wants to hear, and deals with that thorny question we've posed many times at Nordic Music Review, whether music writing can impact the social and political world we live in.
I'll highlight a few favourite tracks on the album. After the introductory 'Pattern Pageantry', 'Keep Your Batteries Warm' launches into the barnstorming 'Everybody Everywhere', which seems the pivitol track on the album - mainly because it's so darn good, and also because the musical theme is repeated later on in the likeable 'Everywhere at Once'. OK there's a hefty Arcade Fire influence here and in next track 'Salute', but 'Clandestine (My Dear)' has a gentle 60's feel to it, and then launches into a huge chorus, with the shift in dynamics changing the atmosphere of the track. 'Square Pie' interests me because it is unusual rhythmically, whilst 'Bantam' (almost 6 minutes long) has a real intensity to it, with a gradual crescendo of noise. The album concludes with 'Right Now is New', a reflective and thoughtful track with a pointed message.
Maybe for some people the 'influences' in the first 2 tracks will be almost too strong to them, but overall I think 'Keep Your Batteries Warm' works well. The songs are well paced, are packed full of interesting melodies, and the concepts behind the album are well thought through. The most obvious 'playlist' songs are in the first half of 'Keep Your Batteries Warm', but overall this is a well rounded release which we're delighted to be able to recommend.