Today’s edition of Music Monday takes us once again to Denmark. Denmark has been producing some really great indie music with diverse instrumentation. As an example, take Mew who describe themselves as Indie Arena Rock. I’ve seen them twice in concert and can vouch for that lofty description. They rely on soaring vocals, driving beats and crashing guitars to produce their big sound.
The band Under Byen (“under the city”) takes a wholly different approach. They leave guitars almost entirely behind in favor of more diverse instrumetation. Their unique sound includes tender female vocals backed by pianos, strings, saws, lapsteel, accordian, harmonica and other things played by the eight members of the band. Even while embracing this kind of diversity and sheer quantity of sound, the music does not come off as being too busy; rather instruments wander in and out of the arrangments and give ample stage room to Henriette Sennenvaldt’s vocals. The result is a mixture of Sigur Ros, Bjork and Mogwai. It’s lovely.
Under Byen’s 2006 LP entitled Samme Stof Som Stof (translated “same matter as fabric”) got them lots of positive press outside of their native country. They completed an American tour late last year and are currently back home preparing to record a followup album. This is a band on the rise and I hope we hear more from them soon.
You can hear two of their songs right now by clicking on the embedded players below or the direct links.