Yune - 'Agog' (album)
We’ve covered Yune (not to be confused with the also featured Lune) a few times over the last 12 months, but the good news is that their debut album ‘Agog’ was finally released last week and it’s a creative and innovative release, which conveniently socially distances them from other indie bands and new albums around right now.
So for the new folks around here, they’re a 5 piece band hailing from Aarhus, home to so many good Danish artists, fronted by vocalist Tobias Sachsen, with Erlend Eggestad and Nikolaj Bugge’s on guitar duties, and bassist Mads Flethøj Ege and drummer Tobias Andreassen completing the line-up. Musically they’ve always stood out as doing something that little bit different, I think it’s probably the interplay between the 2 guitarists that does it, but there’s an ‘edge’ to their sound, and they’re not afraid to experiment with different textures either – the opening of ‘Agog’ features a sliding and then ‘scrubbing’ cello, for example.
‘Agog’ is centred around the theme of the desert, with the band keen to emphasise that everyone can have their own interpretation of what that means. ’’For some, it might the heat and the meditative, buoyant feeling of endlessness. For others, it might be loneliness and emptiness that dominates the listening experience. “We love this dualistic feeling. It hints at things perhaps not being as they seem; that there’s more to them.”
Tobias Sachsen is clear in his lyrical delivery, but isn’t afraid to clip the phrases and throw things slightly offbeat. It’s very different from Indie bands like Pelicat that we featured recently, who just want to bang out Indie anthems, but far more accessible than a band like Kluster B who take their experimentation a bit further still.
But I can’t deny that the released and written about singles (including 'Ørkensangen and ‘Odd One Out’) are still my favoured tracks, and they are packed in the early part of the album. ‘New’ song ‘Part 2’ is atmospheric rather than being memorable, but ‘Running Down the Hourglass’ has a tempo that appeals, and again it’s those guitar combination that create unusual rhythmic patterns – whilst the drumbeat will throw you completely off kilter.
This leaves 4 ‘new’ tracks to get to know more slowly, I like the prolonged instrumental section in ‘Unna’, whilst ‘Copy of You’ is dreamy and almost relaxed in its delivery. ‘Gold’ has a very Yune-like sound, and the guitars, vocals and drums build things up to a climax which maintains an intensity to the end. And it ends with ‘Far Gone’, which is so unusual and has had me listening on repeat – 6 minutes long, and with conventional song structures again thrown out the window, and a particularly interesting ending.
‘Agog’ really is a darn clever album, and Yune are really one of a kind, with a version of Indie rock that separates them out from the indie masses – post punk, post rock, shoegaze, dream pop and world music influences cleverly interwoven together. That feeling of ‘unease’ that permeates the album won’t necessarily make you fall for this album straight away, but it just throws me out my comfort zone enough to keep listening and wanting to interpret and understand their intentions. It’s also conveniently got enough melodic catchy tracks to throw on a playlist, and enough substance in the album to keep me going all year.
Nordic Music Review 8/10
'Agog' was released through the excellent Crunchy Frog records, and produced by Nis Bysted.