I’m not doing this just because I’m mandated to include Greenland (and the Faroes) as they are part of the Nordics but because I have come across Simon Lynge before, a few years ago, and he was kind enough to send me his album, ‘Deep Snow’. A fourth one is underway now (it was recorded in Wales) and this is the first single from it.
That previous review is untraceable now but I vaguely recall a deep interest in the environment that pervaded the album, along with a political position that supported those beliefs. I suppose that if you’ve ever lived on Greenland you will be attracted to all matters ecological. I only went there once and only for a couple of days but that was enough. It is like nowhere else, believe me. It is so quiet (and cold) you could be on Pluto. And you don’t need the James Webb telescope to see the galaxies.
Simon Lynge spent some of his early years in South Greenland (where there is a tiny bit of green), between the age of five and eight as he has a Greenlander father (a musician) and Danish mother, and this song acts as a sort of paean to it.
More than that, it represents how in both a physical and an “existential metaphorical” sense he has had to “cross the deepest and darkest seas…in order to find himself.”
Now I’ll have to stop there because I read about people, especially musicians ‘finding themselves’ almost every day and I still don’t know quite what that means.
If it means discovering what you can contribute positively to the human condition through music then I’ll buy that.
There is a wholesome, Seekers-like sentimentality about ‘To Cross the Sea’ that will inspire the majority of people but also probably turn a few people off.
One thing you can be sure of though, is that he always finds a tune.
There is an interesting comment in the press release in that he returned from Greenland to Denmark aged eight from the small settlement (big by Greenland standards) of Tasiilaq, which was then still an authentic Inuit-influenced hunting community, where you did not have direct access to Western entertainment culture. From there he was pitched into the “modern and petty racist Denmark.”
Now that comment fascinates me. Denmark historically always trails only Finland in the list of the world’s happiest countries but I have heard it accused, in several of the Nordic Noir TV dramas that I follow, of being inherently racist. And yet I’m sure I don’t know anyone from Denmark who fits that category.
I made that comment for a purpose because as pleasant as this song is, I’ll like to hear Simon Lynge tackling some of the pressing issues of our day; racism being one of them. Immigration, crime, corruption, the WEF/Great Reset, the end of democracy, how long we can go until another world war…
None of those subjects might be his bag and I certainly wouldn’t encourage him to do it all of the time. But I suspect he has the songwriting skills to tackle much meatier matters than ‘finding himself.’ Indeed, I know, from listening to that album I mentioned earlier. I’m going to put it on again right now.
Just a quick mention of his backing band, The Martial Hearts. What a fabulous name. Love it.
‘To Cross the Sea’, was released on 26th May. No date yet for the album.
Simon Lynge will be playing festivals in Greenland this summer.
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