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coverpic flag Denmark - Full Moon 125 - 12/05/06

Under Byen
Samme Stof Som Stof
Morningside Records

Denmark's Under Byen have been together for over ten years, and

Samme Stof Some Stof (translating as "Same Fabric As Fabric" - er, wha?) is their third album. And it's pretty bloody intriguing.

With a voice unnervingly similar to Björk's earthiest and most intimate mutterings, often clothed in crackle and sounding like it's calling out from a deep well, Henriette Sennenvaldt is the centre around which these strange, gothic dirges creak and yearn. The sounds of piano, drums, strings, guitars and clattering percussion carry great emotional weight, and even though it's impossible for me to fathom exactly what these songs are about (I don't speak Danish), the depth of feeling expressed through the playing is quite staggering.

As I listen I can picture the band playing in a cave or a forest, closely attending to their instruments, making sure each sound matters. There's plenty of space between the sounds too, so even though there's lots going on, the music never feels busy. Intricately woven but never fussy, these dozen songs are ome of the most beguiling I've heard all year.

Even after two months of occasionally dipping into this record I'm still startled by how this music moves me, and how difficult it is to put into words.

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