Mallemuk - ‘Udpint Fedt’ (track from self titled debut album)
When I can really choose what music I want to stream around my house, I have to admit that top of the list wouldn’t bands like be The Lumineers, Band of Horses or our favourite local family removal firm, Mumford & Sons. So how about Danish band Mallemuk, influenced by the likes of the above, singing songs in their native language? Well actually it does work really well, with well constructed songs and a depth / passion to thier songwriting that shows in every track of their debut self titled album.
So Mallemuk are a duo from Tønder in Southern Denmark, based around musicians Joakim Okkels and Michael Hornhaver. Actually their history doesn’t officially seem to go back too far, at least if you trace their Facebook page back, so to reach a point of releasing a debut album so quickly is some achievement – but helped, I think, by a scholarship fund along the way, and a very well used one judging from the album.
The track I wanted to feature from the album is Udpint Fedt, because I love the way it launches into a full on ‘folk’ mode, happy to show the influences at the heart of the music. It builds in intensity too, with instruments slowly added as the track progresses and there’s some lovely subtle touches musically too - but it’s also an interesting song lyrically as the band explain:
‘‘It’s about a man who is sitting at his kitchen table looking at his frying pan with worn-fat (the literal definition of Udpint Fedt), frying a filet, when he starts to reflect and tells his story: working 13 years on a factory since he was 17, living a home with his parents, until his dad kicked him out… to get a life and find a woman. He actually feels that he has succeeded because he has this special job - driving the salt for the roads in the wintertime, but for this honest work he has to hear about how salt is bad for environment and the cars. He feels neglected by society and feels like and outsider, but still he feels proud about his simple job, which he considers important - clearing the road for people’’
That’s the shortened version anyway, there’s other stuff about ‘syphilis and red pee’, but it’s too early in the morning for that.
It’s a good song, but then the album has a fair few highlights, starting from opening track Hjem til Tønder, a short instrumental introduction which sets the tone, through to anthemic songs like Lille Fisk. Clearly I miss out somewhat lyrically, but the reflective tone of Førstehjælp also appeals.
Still not necessarily the genre of music I’d have first on my playlist, but Mallemuk should certainly make a big impression in Denmark at least with their debut album.