[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From interview in Souciant”]Lee Hazlewood has certainly also been an influence. Again, that sixties sound and the dark pop songs. Woody [Guthrie] hasn’t been an influence apart from the guitar paint slogan. I liked the idea and the imagery of his “This Machine Kills Fascism” label on his guitar. I adapted it on different occasions with “This Machine Kills Politics” and “Politics are for people who can’t run their own lives.”[/pullquote]
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You’re probably familiar with the feeling: You hear an awesome band you’ve never heard before, you check them out further and find out… they’ve been in existence for more than 15 years, have issued a string of fantastic albums, AND they’re more or less from your neck of the woods!!
Which lets me segue nicely into presenting Kim Larsen and :Of The Wand And The Moon: – I had no clue who they were, when Roadburn announced they were booked for this year’s festival! Something so great, originating less than 150 kilometers away, in a musically rather smallish country – how could I have missed it? And how I could have used those albums during decidedly hard times!
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From Roadburn’s presentation”]Heavily thriving on Nordic mythological influences, with lyrics mainly in Danish and English, Larsen‘s melancholic, often acoustic take on the genre paints devastating portraits of irreconcilable loss, love and death in a traditional romantic sense.[/pullquote]
Kim Larsen started :Of The Wand And The Moon: around the same time as leaving Danish doom-band Saturnus (which I find invoking a lot of the same feelings as he would later distill into much more condensed dosages in his solo-project), shifting his focus from what was somewhat in the vicinity of funeral doom, to the neofolk that is the focus point of :Of The Wand And The Moon:
The :Of The Wand And The Moon: discography so far is monumental, perhaps not so much in size (5 full-length albums so far) as in the impact and the sheer quality. Balancing the music between the obvious folk-influences, and ambient parts with longer, more elaborate soundscapes. Shifting from sparse, almost naked instrumentation to more layered productions, the music overall seem crafted with great care, resulting in music that’s close to overwhelming, loosening deep emotions in the listener (at least in this listener). Everything overlaid with Kim Larsen‘s softly sung (at times softly spoken) vocals, lovingly nursing your wounds with balm and salt.
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The pinnacle of the catalogue so far, has to be the magnificent The Lone Descent from 2011. An album stock-full of truly grand tracks, just a little bit more rock-oriented than previous albums, where tracks like Sunspot and We Are Dust, for instance, could sound like the Manic Street Preachers on a very, very good and focused (and acoustic) day.
Even though Larsen’s lyrics were never indifferent and always played a large part in establishing the emotional impact of the music, they seem to have found a sublimity on this album, entering into the realm of poetry.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From Tear It Apart, track 4 of The Lone Descent“]There is something out of place / Out of time, out of grace / Something breached, something broke / Are you cold now? You’re cold now
Break it apart, tear it apart / There is something wrong with your heart / Tear it apart, break it apart / There´s a tumor within your heart[/pullquote]
Never have sadness and despair been quite as beautiful. The Future looks brightfully bleak for Kim Larsen and :Of The Wand And The Moon:
Being able to catch them at Roadburn (apparantly right before Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till!) will be a great and probably overwhelming experience.
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Interview quote from Souciant