Mar 27 2014
I am absolutely captivated by the debut EP Løft Mig Op, Så Jeg Kan Nå, from the endearingly named ensemble I Think You’re Awesome. A mix of jazz, folk, pop, avant-garde, rock, and, apparently, any other influences that just seemed to click at the time, this live performance recording has a unique personality and a sound all to itself.
Many of the albums I feature on the Something Different review series are best observed from a distance… they are as much spectacle as sonic engagement… expressions of creativity that should be bonded with both for enjoyment of the music and the intrigue from edgy creative endeavors. I Think You’re Awesome negates that duality entirely, creating an album that is so genial, so simple to connect with that it’s easy to overlook the massive achievement of creating something so extraordinarily idiosyncratic.
Your album personnel: Kasper Staub (juno, wurlitzer), Alex Jønsson (guitar), Morten Kærup (banjo, guitar), Jens Mikkel (bass), Andreas Skamby (drums), and guests: Scott Westh (trumpet), Maria Isabel Edlund (cello), and Jens Bang (trombone).
The title translates to “lift me up so I can reach.”
Right away the album shows its unique personality. The album opens with “Be Kind to Your Neurosis,” a song that matches Kærup’s peaceably ambling banjo with wavering synth chords and a cheerfully twittering drum contribution. Jønsson adds some melodic shading in accompaniment on guitar. The music’s individuality does nothing to stifle its genuineness, an abiding sense that this music comes from the heart and isn’t some wild stab at differentiation for the sake of, well, just being different.
“Girls With Radical Haircuts” rambles right along, Mikkel’s bass and Staub’s wurlitzer an enchanting pattern of twisting lines. It continues right onto “Jeg Vil Ik’ hjem,” but with Westh’s trumpet slowly exhaling melodic notes over the top, something he continues to do on the title-track “I Think You’re Awesome.” Featuring the melodic lines of guest trumpeter and trombonist Scott Westh and Jens Bang, it’s a series of long sonorous sighs from brass instruments bolstered by the brighter shades of guitar accompaniment, and punctuated by drummer Skamby’s easy-going cadence… creating a dreamlike atmosphere, of mesmerizing qualities within a sea of activity.
“Morgenfunk” changes things up a bit, opening with the sound of flailing brass instruments, breathy and volatile… a bit of dissonance from a highly melodic album. Jens Mikkel’s bass grows increasingly prominent as the song progresses, eventually leading to a talkative solo passage.
The album ends with “Schwartzwald,” and features cellist Maria Isabel Edlund, whose contribution is one hundred percent hypnotic beauty. Cello, backed by the Staub’s enthralling wurlitzer accompaniment, brings this captivating album to a lovely conclusion.
The album is Self-Produced.
Music from Denmark.
The Something Different review series highlights albums that are unlike anything else, and which embrace the best qualities of creative vision.