Elias Bendix (Denmark) – Pedal to the Metal (single/video)
Elias Bendix was here as recently as December with a song I couldn’t make my mind up about. It was catchy for sure but the lyrics were a little wayward. And the video was, well, interesting.
Not so difficult this time. His latest effort, ‘Pedal to the Metal’ is poppy and dance-y, and makes for quite a contrast to the symphonic metal that was featured in NMC yesterday.
The song is about “gritting your teeth and believing in yourself – even when life doesn’t quite go in the direction you’d hoped for,” and is described as “a musical pick-me-up.” Well that happens to just about anyone so the song will hit a chord with many.
Elias then goes on to say that he writes and performs music not to prove anything (he has been successful in many ways and played a session with Prince), but “for the sake of art and because I can’t help it. I don’t necessarily think you should chase the recognition of others, but you should do what makes you happy. That message is universal, and I hope people will take that with them when they hear the song.”
That anyone should compare themselves to “those that are doing a bit better” is anathema to him.
So in that spirit I was going to try not to compare him either but some likenesses are unavoidable.
Hung on jungle drums and heavy synthesiser effects, Elias establishes a series of powerful hooks early on. The Spotify Manual rule of thumb has it of course that you do that within the first six seconds or you’re history and the rising tuneful beat grabs and holds your attention even though it’s 30 seconds before he starts singing.
He moves gracefully between the alternating melodies and choruses and throws in an out-of-left field instrumental bridge which transitions into an outro and which I’d describe as ‘prog-lite.’ At one stage it could be Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman tickling those ivories on the Moog with growing intensity, which I suppose represents that pedal hitting the metal.
Visually, Elias is a regular guy. He makes no attempt to sell himself as a sex symbol, wearing what could be prison uniform and for some of the time wears a ‘Jedward’ style hair cut, the naffest you can sport.
And there’s something interesting about his backing band/vocalists. One of the two ladies is a little older than the other one, or so it appears. So what, you might say? It’s just that it wouldn’t happen in the UK, where ‘uniformity’ to the norm is the mantra. Similarly the record company probably wouldn’t let him tower over them either. They’d source a couple of leggy models to mime and pretend to play the instruments.
And that goes some way to explaining my predilection for Nordic music.
Find him on: