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Touching Grace (Denmark) – Virtue (single/future album track)

I’d almost overlooked this one, what with all that’s been going on just recently but fortunately spotted it and saved it from delete button, which you might interpret as my ‘saving grace’ for tonight.

Touching Grace is a Danish rock band about to release its second album, ‘Sunrise Meltdown’, preceded by this single, ‘Virtue’. The band’s vocalist, Andri Sigurdsson (a Sting lookalike in some of the video shots), says he wrote it “on a summer day in 2022 with a new-born baby fast asleep on my stomach – an epic thing”.

And it’s an epic song to go with it.

While I’m consistently surprised at the sheer variety of music that comes out of not only Denmark but the Nordics in their entirety, the last thing I expected was something that might have first seen the light of day somewhere in a southern US state.

I don’t quite know how to label ‘Virtue.’ The opening bars suggest you’re in for some avant-garde prog but it quickly settles into the main, pleasing acoustic guitar-played melody that permeates it throughout, a soft rock piece with a bluesy, soulful feel to it, Be warned, that melody will reel you in and you won’t easily escape its clutches.

Meanwhile Andri Sigurdsson’s vocal reminds me of Family’s Roger Chapman, whose was more gravelly but the degree of emotiveness is similar.

It’s a powerful song in the way it builds around that central theme, adding ever more instruments as it goes along. Especially the mellotron.

It’s one that isn’t used as often as it used to be and when it is, sometimes it is misused, with super strength chords drowning out everything else.

Not so here, where it merely compliments what is already a potent piece of music, and in anticipation of the late arrival of anthemic strings courtesy of Andreas K. Westmark that will transport you into orbit.

The press release tells me Touching Grace is a now often six-piece band, formed in 2007, but whose eponymous debut album was only released last year, followed now by ‘Sunrise Meltdown’ and which “showcases a different side of the band, experimenting with the recording studio as an instrument, featuring a wide array of guest musicians, including string- and brass sections, backup-singers as well as incorporating influences of jazz, French yé-yé, and psychedelic pop in the song writing, without ever straying too far away from the band’s obvious and precious rock and roll influences.”

So now you know.

The thing that bothers me is why it took them so long to record full length albums. This is seriously good stuff and I’m looking forward to hearing the full album, which is scheduled for release on September 12th.

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