She’s A Sailor - ‘Do You Want Us To Play’ (album)
We’re heading towards our 6th birthday, drowning slightly under the weight of new releases, but appropriately there’s a nice collection of material from artists that we covered in that 1st month – including Neondad, Kalandra and none other than She’s A Sailor, the Danish duo that made a lovely impression with some live demo’s recorded back in 2014.
Based around Jesper Vindberg and Thomas Albrechtsen, their music is bright, melodic chamber / baroque pop – every time I’ve written about them I’ve suggested it’s ‘timeless’ songwriting and I stick by that, with influences as wide ranging as Travis, Scott Walker, Queen and The Divine Comedy. Clearly all those artists have an ability to write pretty good tunes.
Opening track ‘Do You Want Us To Play’ reminds me of the last of those influences listed, but it’s the gorgeous piano opening that makes me want to pull up my favourite armchair and pour an oversized gin. The upbeat ‘Some Space for Me’ was a pre-album single and it’s probably a good place for those new to the band, whilst ‘For You’ charts songwriter Jesper’s struggle with anxiety, which resulted in a break in the recording process – one of the things I’ve always liked from the start about this band is that theres always been a clarity in the vocals, which does allow them to pour out their emotions in the lyrics.
Ballad ‘Broken Heart’ is classic songwriting, it could be anywhere between Elton John and Gary Barlow, whilst ‘All I Wanna Do Is Dance‘ is intricate free flowing indie pop. They return to the theme of anxiety in ‘Panic Attack’, and I think it’s the more effective of the tracks on this subject, lyrically open, delicately constructed with the subtlest hint (I think) of trumpet.
I’d implore everyone to take some time to listen to the lovely piano in ‘Rain and Circus’, whilst the strings and trumpet adds an extra dimension to the songwriting that I hope we might see more of in future releases, it’s probably my favourite song on the album. ‘I Miss You So’ raises the tempo, with the guitar having a real indie-pop feel to it, and if wraps up with live favourite ‘My Miss Right’, a thoughtful track that for them encapsulates their entire history as a band, and the joy of writing and performing together.
It’s just such a delight to be able to follow the progress of these guys over a 6 year period – I have a feeling I’ll be saying the same about Kalandra when I finally get to their album in the next couple of weeks. She’s A Sailor are a proper musical band, with a huge love of what they do, and I’d more than happily spend a night in a small Copenhagen bar listening to the beautiful piano and plaintive, melancholy vocals.
It’s probably fair to say that ‘Do You Want Us To Play’ doesn’t necessarily have that platinum selling single that will catapult them to stardom, but their easy listening style of songs are a pretty good fit for radio stations and playlists across the world, and this is exactly what I expected from these guys - lovely songwriting, heartfelt melodies, lyrics and expressive performances throughout.
The album was released today, and has been produced by Lars Skjærbæk.