I said the other day that there were some ominous song titles around and you don’t get much more portentous than ‘The End’, which is the track that we’re highlighting from Danish artist MALMØ’s (Maria Malmoe) EP, ‘The Inevitable End’, which was released by Integrity Records/Songcrafter Music on 11th June.
I hesitated to review the entire five tracks and 25 minutes because I sometimes think that the subject matter (or at least part of it) – “the urgency of protecting the planet” - has been done to death by now in songs.
But to be fair to MALMØ this is a sufficiently impressive piece of work to put those prejudices aside. You won’t be dancing around to it but it will gnaw into you and be difficult to shake off. Had I not known it was her I would have guessed it was something off the Finnish Soliti label, whose 10th anniversary we celebrated earlier this week.
That company’s artists specialise in abstract, off the wall stuff like this and the
solemn opening trumpet section here immediately put me in mind of Color Dolor’s ‘The Angel’. Combined with the repetitive single piano notes we’ve come to associate with Scandi Noir TV dramas, war drums and a trumpet that gets more expressive as it goes along the piece paints little mind pictures without the need of any visual stimulation.
But there is anyway, courtesy of a heavily sepia-tinged video created by Noemi Müller, one of five which will collectively make up an art installation, exhibited in the Danish cities of Aarhus, Herning and Copenhagen through autumn ’21 / spring ‘22. It starts off like a weird sci-fi film or a particularly bizarreepisode of Twin Peaks with everyone walking backwards before a scantily clad female wearing what looks like a wasps’ nest over her face goes for a swim in a lily pond and then, well let’s just say she puts a whole new spin on tree hugging. And that’s just in the opening 30 seconds.
And then in the final section, is she passively drowning? Like a lemming? “As predicted by MALMØ” it says as the video plays out. Don’t ask me, I’m clueless, but it is thought provoking for sure.
Eventually I relented and listened to the whole EP. From the full-on strings assault and fleeting electronica of ‘Frostbite’ to the skittering, breathless (and verbose) ‘No Words’ to the ambitious, expansive, almost operatic and at times beautiful ‘Farewell Roaring Ocean’ (which really should be a track for the Outlaw Ocean Project we occasionally feature) to the swirling disjointedness of ‘Bleed me dry’ it demands your attention. That fourth track is particularly attractive to me as it reminds me where Sweden’s Ida Log was a few years ago before she went all dancy.
As it says on the tin, it all comes to an inevitable end but there’s always the replay button.
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