While the UK and US markets continue to hog the limelight, it’s probably fair to say the most adventurous, beguiling and downright unique music we’ve heard this year has originated from mainland Europe. The Nordic countries in particular seem to be enjoying something of a musical resurgence in recent years, with Sweden, Norway and especially Denmark all playing hosts to vibrant, burgeoning scenes that shows no signs of evaporating just yet.
Copenhagen five-piece Blood Child are the latest to emerge off the production line. Which probably makes it all sound quite cynical. Except there really is no cynicism attached here. Undeniably influenced by the UK post-punk scene through to the halcyon shoegaze years, as well as its more recent equivalent back home, Blood Child sound like the kind of people who’d tear down your house for the sake of it, then dispose of each remnant single-handedly. Preferably using hammers and powertools where possible.
Shower Me might be their debut EP but this batch of recordings are clearly no flash in the pan. The band – brothers Emil and Mads Bertelsen (guitar and bass while both contribute vocals respectively), Hjalte Ross (guitar), Marikka Katrina Hoejen (keys) and Lasse Dybdahl Kruger (drums) – have spent their formative years playing in this and other guises around the Danish underground music scene, which has clearly paid dividends if the six pieces of music that make up this EP are anything to go by.
If the shards of noise and disconsolate vocals on opener ‘Shivers Home’ scream Iceage in large, bold letters. The harrowing ‘Psycho’ and uneasy listening that’s ‘Confident Silence’ owe much of their existence to Sheffield new wave art punks Cabaret Voltaire or Dublin’s enigmatic Girl Band. ‘Confident Silence’ in particular shows Blood Child at their most subversive, both on a musical and lyrical front. Sticking two fingers up at a system that expects so much and more besides, it isn’t so much a protest song as a protest racket. But one that exemplifies their experimental qualities when it comes to sonic arrangements.
Meanwhile, ‘Colors’ owes much of its structure and sound to My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Cigarette In Your Bed’ off their much-revered You Made Me Realise EP. Fluently veering between quiet and loud segments, but never at breakneck speed, before giving way to the distressing ‘Suicide Boy’. Only for EP closer ‘Strange Life’ to provide a soothing finale.
Blood Child’s Shower Me EP showcases various angles of its creators’ psyche, but above all, highlights the sound of young Denmark as a blossoming hive of exemplary artistic craft right now. Long may that continue!
Shower Me is out now via NESM.