I have a busy week, including attending an actual live gig with real life musicians, so may have to keep some reviews short. But I'll start with an excellent album from Danish singer songwriter and musician Holm. It's entitled 'Why Don't You Dance'.
Now I doubt if many UK readers / music listeners will have heard of him, but if you follow Nordic Music Review you may remember us featuring indie band Yung, and Holm (Mikkel Holm-Silkjaer) is the lead vocalist - he's also played in bands such as Brooch, Tears, the thrashy Urban Achievers and the brilliantly named Happy Hookers for Jesus, who sadly I can't find on Spotify.
I really like Yung so that's a positive start, and this debut album isn't too far removed in style, partly of course because of the vocal style. But I'd suggest that whilst I really enjoy the complexity and intensity of Yung, 'Why Don't You Dance' is an easier album to get to like, and feels more contemplative lyrically, as he tries to fathom out the complications of life.
Okay, so quick highlights. You'll get the picture from opener 'Intelligent Moves', a driven instrumental (almost krautrock) backdrop, slight metallic sound to the guitar and vocals with just enough melody to make things interesting. 'The Rope' was the 1st song I really heard and an obvious stand out track, with catchy melodies and a lighter quirky 'indie pop' feel to the guitars, but contrasted with pointed lyrics: ”I bet you woke up in the wrong costume this morning, yeah because you wrote me a message explaining how you think, self indulgence is mandatory”.
That lyrical content makes an impression throughout, sometimes almost spoken words that I'm not suggesting are poetic, but that feel central to the tracks. Take 'Tenacious' for example: 'It feels like I did the whole thing in reverse, at least according to the clock I'm looking at..... it's such a persistent thing, it's very tenacious about moving forward'', before the track builds to a wall of intense noise.
'Back Home has a simpler melodic 'indie' feel to it, whilst 'Erase & Repeat' is another track with big climactic ending, it's a real highlight every time he does it, before somewhat inevitably he ends with the more reflective 'Why Don't You Dance'.
But it’s ‘K-Choice’ which probably hits the mark both musically and lyrically, with jangling guitars to open before fraught vocals introduce the lyrics: “How you won the lottery that day, But it wasn’t intentional because you bought your ticket at a discount store”, before a screamed chorus which probably sums up the reason for most of his lyrics - “I don’t really understand”.
Not really an album full of indie bangers, if that’s what you’re looking for, but excellent songwriting and well written lyrics, and with different musical projects on the go, I suspect we‘ll be hearing a lot more from Mikkel Holm-Silkjaer.