Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

The Grenadines (Denmark) – Smile (single)

Grenadine is a syrupy drink but there’s nothing sugary about this single, ‘Smile’, the first in 18 months from The Grenadines, or the message in it for that matter, even if there is something a little boy band-ish about the title.

In fact, and even though the musicality does detract a little from that message, it is a serious one, and also one that isn’t often heard today; namely that men need to be men and to take responsibility for intimacy and passion in their relationships. No going Dutch when the clogs come off.

More of the Alpha male than the Beta, one might say. In fact, were it not for the fact they are all happily married family men with kids, I’d be inclined to introduce them to Mia Dae, who we featured a few days ago, a fellow Danish countrywoman (can you say that these days, or should it be ‘out of town birthing person?’) who has her own, not dissimilar ideas about taking the lead in relationships.

There would be fireworks, for sure, from a lady who prefers to be on top.

They say, “Romance, intimacy and the appreciation of each other can tend to fade into the background of everyday life when you become parents…on the surface, ‘Smile’ is about savouring caviar, getting naked and having sex, but it also expresses the need for intimacy with those you love.”

They add, “In a world where women both carry the mental load and are seen as a deficit business for the state in a messed up financial system (I guess that refers to child benefit??), men need to take more responsibility – also for intimacy, for the conversation and equality”.

Ok, put aside conversation and quality for now and let’s talk about sex, baby.

‘Smile’ oozes sexuality like it’s about to go out of fashion. It starts off with what might be a 33 rpm record spinning on a turntable with the final section of a black and white 1950s film playing as Humphrey Bogart gets canned by Ingrid Bergman and Sam forgets to play it again.

Then, 15 seconds in and we’re straight into Take That ft. Lionel Richie, a silky smooth soulful supper club piece in which life involves no more than guzzling champagne and noshing on caviar, while you’re conveyed on a magic carpet to wherever your fancy takes you, and only in First Class of course.

And this from a band which got inspiration for its first three albums from Fleetwood Mac and The War on Drugs and who have been compared to The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen.

If your fancy is to compare diametrically opposite songs, contrast the lush sentiments in this one with, say, The Divine Comedy’s ‘National Express’, in which the long distance bus hostess has “an arse the size of a small country”.

But there’s an underlying serious element to the message of course, namely that it’s less about caviar than about commitment, and that has to be a two-way thing.

The production techniques work perfectly. Pardon me for making the vinyl album analogy again but if someone told you ‘Smile’ had first been released in 1965 on the CBS label you’d see no reason to contradict the proposal.

And while it relates to keeping long term relationships going this single will excel when you’ve finished the last course and the final dregs of wine on your first dinner date and you’re settling down on the couch to ponder what to do next.

The Grenadines are Kasper Ejlerskov, Dennis Debannic and Morten Fillipsen.

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