The Copenhagen music scene is flourishing, and the Danish capital can make a legitimate case for being 2017’s city of music innovation with Sleep Party People and Nelson Can respectively releasing among the best LPs and EPs. Now it’s The Bowdashes‘ turn, who are adding to the city’s reputation with their own bone-chilling exteded player.
Marrow is the record, and its title fits the dour and bleak mood that filters across each of the five songs. Correction – the EP is not merely a collection of songs, but it’s a concept record that brings Quentin Tarantino’s vision of the Wild West to Denmark. Nana Nørgaard and Linn Holm’s story commences with “Dirty Town”, which is a tantalizingly brooding number. The heavy percussion and stark guitar create a soundscape made for one lusting for blood and revenge, and the lyrics, too, recall the protagonist being consumed by the devil himself.
The hero is “Diego”, who is a young, reckless woman seeking mayhem and redemption. The stripped back and shallow instrumentation that opens the song perfectly represents the heroine’s nonchalant and calm persona. As the track progresses, however, it grows in intensity, as if Diego has found her target. She has found her prey, and vengeance will soon be realized.
The roaring rocker, “In Control”, is Diego on her mission. As the reverb-drenched bass, the searing guitar, and the bristling drumming devour the air with their dark approach, Nørgaard’s grave voice describes Diego’s entry into the solemn town. Everyone parts like the Red Sea because no one wants to stand in her way.
“And you walk down the road, you’re so in control.
You’re so in control.
You know where you’re going,
Everyone is knowing.
You’re so in control.
Nothing can move you.”
Her revenge is told on “The Love & Death of the Owl Hoot Trail Riders”. This is Diego’s anthem – a song for the lone vigilante. The atmosphere is, as one would expect, stark and gritty. Through the distortion-filled electric guitar, the moaning auto-harp, the pounding drums, the steely keys, and Holm’s and Nørgaard’s haunting vocals, we walk alongside Diego. In her hand is her bow and arrow, which is her weapon of choice. There is no better way to take out the heart of the one who betrayed her.
It all comes to an end with “Copenhagen Gold Rush”, which is a slow-building, grizzly rocker that sees Nørgaard and Holm channel the eerie splendor of Savages. The story is the aftermath of the revenge, where the town returns to its daily activities. The citizens, however, aren’t panning for gold, but rather they are digging the graves of those who die. Another death, another revenge killing is just part of the historical insanity of the city that brought us the Little Mermaid. This time, though, Copenhagen has another set of storytellers to celebrate, and their name is The Bowdashes.
Marrow is out now via This Recording Company.
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