Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

The Victim (Denmark) – Carry On (sample track from the EP When everything is over, Part 2)

The Victim, aka Danish singer-songwriter Kenneth Nafling, has made one previous appearance in NMC, when he released his single ‘Ghost House’ in 2022, one that I described as “the liveliest piece of folk-rock you’re likely to hear all year” despite its melancholic subject matter of losing someone you loved, and dwelling on all the things you wish you had done differently when the opportunity was there.

It was taken from the portentously-named EP ‘When everything is over, Part 1’ and now he has moved on to Part 2, which was released on April 5th.

Reading the notes to the latest EP I braced myself because it was written during both Covid pandemic lockdowns and a relationship break up and we’ve seen more than enough examples already of the terminal melancholia that brought on in many other artists. It was almost as if a break up was a symptom of the disease, like a cough or fever.

It was also a period when many people, with perhaps too much time to think, began to re-evaluate their position in the world and how they related to other people, including their own family.

Hence the selection of the third track on the EP, ‘Carry On’ here, one that deals with the inherent inability in many people, not only himself, to prepare for the death of parents. No matter how long and hard you’ve prepared for it, it always takes you by surprise, as I can attest myself. (And, like him, I am also an only child).

He’s also had to deal with a lengthy spell of stress related sickness himself during the last year and a move away from the inner city suburb of Nørrebro, a hip, multicultural neighbourhood, out into the ‘burbs.

In writing and performing the song he acknowledges these thoughts and events influenced him to the point where he wasn’t on his usual turf as he typically writes about romantic things. Then again, he has been down this melancholic path before, depending on how you interpret ‘Ghost House.’

So I wasn’t really prepared myself for ‘Carry On’, which is dramatically downbeat in comparison, as indeed is the rest of the five-track EP. And get this, it even prompted me to re-examine ‘Ghost House’ and appreciate the underlying sadness in that song.

You won’t be dancing to this EP, and certainly not to ‘Carry On’, and you might find it a little unnerving, as he ruminates over the demise of two prior generations to a musical accompaniment that seems to oscillate as if it is somehow coming from beyond the grave before it stops as abruptly as that telephone call you weren’t expecting.

But in another Mike and the Mechanics’ ‘Living Years’ – like moment, what I guarantee is that The Victim will cause you to stop and reflect. And reflection is a good thing. Unless you are Dracula of course!

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