Here are a couple of Danish pastries tonight.
Kira Martini (Denmark) – Better Life (Single/track from forthcoming album)
I can’t think of a better way to end the day than with this song, washed down with a martini on the rocks if Kira Martini will pardon the pun, one I’m sure she’s heard many times before. “Any time, any place, anywhere” as the TV adverts told us in the 1980s.
I’m not particularly a fan of what I call ‘club jazz’, that laid back sound you get in supper clubs in trendy cities and suburbs, but this number did it for me, straight away from the opening bars.
The story behind the song is that she is paying tribute to “the love, melancholy and presence that flows out of the small bars on weekday evenings in Copenhagen.” I’ll have to give it a try. I can’t remember travelling there since 1986. And it sure beats a couple of pints of bitter and rolling with the punches in Manchester.
More precisely, she is singing as an ode to the slow evenings in the city, everyday life, on the small stages and bars, where there is always a place that pours out blue tones. It sounds like a Nordic ‘Cheers’ bar.
The song was written one morning after such a jazz night in Copenhagen. She left the venue a little melancholic, but returned home “uplifted by the sounds, the music, hugs, good talks and reunions with friends and acquaintances. The next morning she sat down at the piano and wrote ‘Better Life’.
Does anything work better at this level than saxophone and brushes? And her poignant vocal could be a cocktail mixed with honey.
The song seems almost to be anachronistic in its most basic meaning, in that its lushness belongs in another era, in a black & white Metro Goldwyn Mayer movie from the 1940s as the leading man and lady finally meet as the sun sets over Santa Monica pier. Well, you get the idea.
And, just in passing, how could I not like any song which contains the lyric “Hearts aglow”, one of my favourite tracks from Weyes Blood?
She isn’t just a jazz singer by the way, for the forthcoming album we are promised “an open approach to songwriting in the borderland between genres.”
‘Better Life’ was released on January 26th on Storyville Records.
Come and sing in Manchester, Kiri. Matt and Phreds. We’re waiting. And we’ll buy you a pint of bitter.
Find her on:
Aegteskab (Denmark) – Checking Out (single/possible track from forthcoming album)
Aegteskab – is that Danish for an album released by Genesis back in the day? No, it means ‘marriage’. Once again NMR is your open sesame to Nordic languages.
They are new as a group, being accorded the title of ‘super group’ indeed, a Cream to go with the pastry, but collectively they have been on the scene for quite some time.
They are the award-winning Mike Andersen on vocals and guitar; Eddi Jarl, best known for his exuberant drumming in the Lars Lilholt Band and the Vestbo Trio; and Michael Blicher on saxophone and bass, who also plays with the drumming legend Steve Gadd in Blicher Hemmer Gadd.
They have a long-standing fascination with each other’s music and playing styles which grew into a mutual pact – a musical marriage if you like (hence Aegteskab) between three men who have created a whole new sound with their unconventional line-up.
They say their goal from the beginning was “to create a trio with a unique expression”.
Their individual styles come together as a musical hybrid between experimental alternative rock, ambient sounds and hand-played music but ‘Checking Out’ is apparently quite different from some of the other songs on the band’s forthcoming album, which will be released on 1st March.
They say it is “the album’s night out, where we forget about everyday obligations for a brief, carefree moment”.
I could spend a paragraph or two making a clinical analysis of the song but I reckon I can sum it up in a handful of words.
Imagine the next song Chubby Checker might have recorded after he’d finished twisting again, back in ‘62. In other words, when Chubby had checked out. (He didn’t by the way, he’s still going strong).
You got it.
And if you’re in Denmark you can experience yourself on their post-release tour. You’ll find details on their Facebook page.
Find them on: