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Touching Grace (Denmark) – Elephants & Armpits (single/future album track)

There is something about Touching Grace that amuses me. They are a Danish four piece, sometimes six piece, that was here only a couple of months back with the single ‘Virtue’, one that, like this new one, will be on their second album ‘Sunrise Meltdown’ which is scheduled for release in September.

‘Virtue’ is an epic song that incorporated all sorts of contrasting styles and part of an album which they somehow contrived to take 20 years to record.

But that isn’t what has prompted the mirth. The story behind this latest song’s title, ‘Elephants & Armpits’, is that they have “an absurd amount of elephant decorations in our studio and we sweat a lot when we play.”

On that basis any song I wrote from my little studio here in the arse end of Greater Manchester would have to be called “Photos of nymph-like melon-chested models & Farts.”

I’ll stick to writing reviews.

I might add in passing though that when I entered Touching Grace into Spotify its convoluted algorithms offered me ‘Touching Yourself’ at first. Work that one out.

They say that ‘Elephants & Armpits’ “takes us back to the rock ‘n’ roll which has largely defined us as a band, and then hasn’t”. Hm.

I’m not ‘Genre Man’ but I like to be able to classify at least broadly what I’m listening to and I’m struggling with this one. It has a distinctly proggy feel to it, especially the syncopation and many and varied instrumentation on show but prog never rocked out quite like this. It’s a slow burner which picks up pace from about halfway through and morphs via a sweet guitar break into a head banger retrieved from the 1970s, something the Allman Brothers might have played down at Monterey Pop or Eric Burdon at Woodstock.

And it features contributions from artists with the weirdest names, like Holy Dragon, a heavy rock/metal outfit out of Aalborg that has 666 as part of its Bandcamp handle, and someone on backing vocals from Bogwife, “a stoner rock band influenced by doom and psychedelic.”

If you’ve never seen the classic British TV comedy sketch ‘Jazz Club’ from the 1990s series The Fast Show, then you won’t understand this comment but if you have then you’ll know how Bogwife would have been the drummer in the experimental jazz band the James Nance quartet that also featured Theydon Bois on guitar and Clam on bass playing ‘Desolate Shore’.

I hope none of this puts you off. I sense no doom at all in this song; it’s actually quite uplifting in its own little way.

September can’t come soon enough.

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