Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fool: Deserve It + The Green + Live A Little

After being spotted on YouTube, Adrian Mikkelsen from the small town Svaneke on the island of Bornholm was invited to participate in Danish Television's short lived talent show Mentor in the fall of 2013, impressing with a Frank Ocean cover among other songs and citing Bieber and Usher as his primary influences.

Now 20, the singer/multi-instrumentalist (who now goes by his first name only) has resurfaced as a member of Copenhagen duo FOOL, formed only last year with experienced producer Jabs, ten years his senior.

While clearly showing great promise four years ago on Mentor, today Adrian can rightly call himself a bona fide artist. Effortlessly producing downright goose bump inducing notes, his gifts as a singer are on full display on the outstanding, utterly addictive tracks "The Green" and "Deserve It" as well as the new single "Live a Little".

And when on January 27 FOOL performed a flawless, stripped down version of "Deserve It" in Copenhagen as part of the ongoing concert series Sofar [Songs From a Room], Adrian truly got to shine, showcasing what a superb vocalist he is.

FOOL has been signed to Sony Music DK which will hopefully do their part in ensuring that the duo gets the attention they so richly deserve both in and outside Denmark.

On iTunes, where (so far) only "Live a Little" is available, FOOL has apparently been erroneously listed together with an artist who goes by the same name.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Victor Furbacken: Somebody Help

35-year-old Gothenburg based musician Victor Furbacken spent his formative years in a Parisian suburb, but went to high school in the southern region of Skåne, majoring in music and fully absorbing himself into the world of jazz. An acclaimed bass player in Sweden, Furbacken played in a number of constellations before delving into songwriting and finding his own voice with the release of the excellent four-track debut EP 'In the Rain' in the fall of 2015.

On the beautiful new single "Somebody Help"  the listener is taken along on a 5:14 long yet all too brief otherworldly musical road trip that is perfectly complemented by the stellar video, co-directed by Furbacken and Nils Dahl.

I close with a statement by the artist himself:

I was always intrigued by language, storytelling and poetry since an early age, and I attribute it mainly to French schooling which presented me with a lot of the classics in their tradition. I was lucky in that I had many enthusiastic and good teachers who saw my curiosity and really did 'beat' this interest into me, which I am deeply thankful for today. English isn´t my mother tongue but it's actually been a constant in my life since I met the language through music early on and it did not leave me when I relocated. This is why I've turned to English in my writing so far. Early memories of school were encounters with imagery and stories that really caught my attention. I loved many styles but my writing is probably quite influenced by French Symbolists like Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Verlaine but also by English poets like Blake, Elliott, Poe or even Joyce, who I believe all share a common fascination for darkness, life and death, love, absurdity and humor.

Friday, July 7, 2017

LANY: Good Girls

L.A. based trio LANY is one of the hardest working bands in the business, having done 229 shows in the past 30 months. The rest of 2017 is shaping up to be just as busy: Currently doing the festival circuit, they have a tight fall tour schedule with a string of North American dates September 25 - November 12, a single festival appearance in Mexico City the weekend after, followed by seventeen gigs in continental Europe and the UK between November 27 and December 20.

Their latest video accompanies the outstanding track "Good Girls" off their self-titled sixteen-track debut full-length, released June 30 on Polydor. The simple yet highly effective clip was directed by L.A. film maker Joel Knoernschild and seamlessly continues the obsessive love narrative from the January 2017 video created for the superb 2016 hit single "ILYSB" (Note: That video was not directed by Knoernschild; unfortunately I haven't yet been able to find info out who did.)

LANY members Paul Jason Klein (a former model from Tulsa, Oklahoma) Jake Goss and Leslie Priest (both from Nashville) may not have grown up in Los Angeles like the Beach Boys, but they may as well have. And like the BB, they have expertly crafted a gorgeous signature sound, sunny but with hints of dark skies. I will even go as far as saying that LANY's debut album is Pet Sounds for the 21st century. Like that seminal 1966 collection of brilliant pop songs, its 2017 counterpart perfectly captures the essence of the both eternally seductive and maddening Southern California.