Came across Casey’s latest musical venture the other day entitled ‘Songs for the living and songs for the dead’. Features 4 tracks, of amazing finger plucking on soaring acoustic guitars and banjos, with a folky rhythmic style that keeps on building. Climbing vocals accompany and create a wistful collection of poetry with some dark undertones. Track 4 (Along the crooked pathway) will have your feet and fingers moving in no time. It’s released on Autumn Ferment Records and available here. Check it out.
So the other day we went to check out Flash Bang Band, who commandeered a bus for the night. They played a bunch of songs whilst traveling 60 mph up the m23 to devils dyke where the bus turned around and headed back to Brighty. Was all a bit surreal! They got a bunch of new songs coming out soon, keep your ears peeled.
Back last year ‘They Cried Land’ predecessors of Nordic Giants produced the track Breathe which was used on BBC’s Holby City. It was used a few times throughout the episode. Strange to hear your music on TV! Whenever this guy was about to have heart palpitations or there was a funeral (as in the clip above), the track came on….lovely! The track featured Cate Ferris, Casey Denman, Tim Slade and Nordic Giants and was produced by Dai. You can hear the track in its entirety below.
I certainly would not call post-rock a dying genre, as far as i’m concerned there’s still decades of life left in it yet – but in terms of mainstream viability, its hard to think of many post-rock bands who’ve really ‘broken through’ in the past few years. As I see it, the notoriously loose term is characterised far more by a select and diverse few musical veterans (Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, M83, The Album Leaf.. the list goes on) than by any young and inspired array of emerging talent. Perhaps the most recent breakthrough has been Texas’ This Will Destroy You, who have put out several phenomenally well-orchestrated releases in the past five years.
The roots of Nordic Giants lie in Hampshire and Wales, though they are now based in Brighton – but before even pressing play on their debut EP ‘A Tree As Old As Me’, its the strain of post-rock from Iceland which the name ‘Nordic Giants’ appears to be paying tribute to. Bands like Sigur Ros and Mum are immediate comparisons also in terms of the band’s sound, and the way Nordic Giants are going, they are without doubt the British answer to their successes. There’s something totally engulfing and timeless about Nordic Giants’ music which I can’t quite put my finger on, maybe the dreamy and disorientating repetitions or the helpless, all-encompassing climaxes are what has transformed a good band into one so eternally relevant, personal and sentimental. Descending all too often from sparse classical beginnings and minimalistic slow-paced percussion, it is the quietest origins which are built into the most expansive of post-rock soundscapes.
The band now collaborate with Shorts.Tv, a short film company who now provide a series of challenging and epic short films to synchronize with their live show. Its really convenient for them, because Nordic Giants’ music typically puts a more daily, liveable twist on the kind of music that you hear in full-length cinema. The songs are far from ridiculously epic however, more measured and ambient and classical. ‘Shine (ft. Cate Ferris)’ has a dark British touch to it, providing almost-spoken female vocals to the ambient guitar-work for a timeless arrangement. Sure enough, it builds into cold, orchestral grandeur which transposes itself as almost violent, before filtering out and returning once again into the semi-buoyant and deeply introvert beginnings. This is a theme which is continued; ‘Through A Lens Darkley’ does something similarly led but this time by sparsely intensifying piano. Live, the loops and pedals which allow the duo to change instruments and provide extra percussion when its really needed, are just spectacular.
Until now, Britain has been missing a really great emerging post-rock band. Perhaps Nordic Giants are the answer?