Yung (Denmark) – Friends on Ice (single from second album)
'Friends on Ice' is a single from Yung, the Danish indie-rock four-piece and is the third track from their second album, ‘Ongoing Dispute’, released on 22nd January via PNKSLM Recordings.
We featured them back in December with the second single from the album, 'Such a Man' and I mentioned then that they often take inspiration from Killing Joke.
I quite liked that song but this one is on another level. It took me back to the early days of Arcade Fire, specifically their first two albums, ‘Funeral’ and ‘Neon Bible’ which weren’t Grammy ‘Best Album’ winners unlike their third album, ‘The Suburbs’ (being the first indie band album ever to win that coveted award) but which should have been.
'Friends on Ice' could quite comfortably have sat on any of those three albums and that is high praise indeed.
The song came about as a consequence of their guitarist being challenged to strum the most difficult guitar chord he could come up with. I’m not sure which one it is but I’d hazard a guess that it isn’t the one the song starts off with but another one that it appears around the two-minute mark.
It’s melodic, anthemic, powerful, and the singer (Mikel Holm Silkjær I believe) has an aura of Arcade Fire’s Win Butler about him on this song as well.
They say, “It’s a song about alienation, loneliness and the immediate remedies we, as individuals in western society, turn to when confronted with pain or struggle. Capitalism promotes individualism, which makes a lot of people think they have to deal with issues and problems in life on an individual level, when often we’d be much better off if we dealt with things on a collective level.” OK, we could discuss that but this isn’t the forum for it. But it’s more of the Butler take on life, again.
The Canadians having gone off the boil in the last few years and there’s a niche to be filled. Yung seem well suited to it. Incidentally, they are Aarhus-based, Denmark’s music capital, along with the likes of Gurli Octavia, Lydmor and others. Just about anything that comes out of that place is worth listening to.
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Photo credit: Daniel Hjorth