We featured Von August last November, a band which got together just as the first Wuhan Virology Lab worker got his first coughing fit and which suggests they might have called themselves Serendipity.
I said then it was unusual for a Norwegian band to venture into the European market while singing in Norwegian. It doesn’t seem to have put them off, because they are back again, this time with ‘Codex’, a song which is as high brow as you are likely to come across these days when the biggest talking point in music is the athletic positions Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion adopted in their modest performance at the Grammys.
The very mention of codices evokes the likes of meandering Dan Brown novels and I baulked when I read that it is about the concept of a poem about ‘pianto (crying) piano’, one which I couldn’t even dig up a comprehensive interpretation of, let alone get my ahead around.
If this is putting you off and you’d prefer to watch East Enders or Corrie, persevere with me because it isn’t that difficult really. These guys know how to employ synthesisers to maximum effect. ‘Codex’ is a slow burner which intermittently is investigational background music to read that Dan Brown novel to and then suddenly overt and exhilarating dance music before resuming its original function while remaining highly moody and atmospheric throughout.
I couldn’t understand a word they sang (again) but on this track at least it didn’t really matter.
They take inspiration from artists who include FKA Twigs and as I mentioned last time out you can sense that in their music. This is impressive stuff and I’m not surprised to learn they have been named by Norwegian state broadcaster NRK as one the ‘New Names to Watch in 2021.’
Von August now look towards their debut album in August, as do we. They are vocalists Live Schau and Klara Lucie Østrem Ossum (I just love that name, it trips off the tongue), and producer Simon Nenseter Nome. I wonder if they call him The Musical Genome.
‘Codex’ is out today, Friday 2nd April via Monstera Records.