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CD Feature/ Gravy: "Gravy"

img  Tobias

Winter has arrived and what can we use an album like this for? You wake up in the morning to the sound of the freezing wind howling at your window, brush your clattering teeth in an icecold bathroom and start brewing up tea with the taste of cinammon and oranges. Right now, there’s a thousand things on your mind apart from flowers and yellow elefants doing the conga line with their trunks, whistle-along melodies, sunshine vibes and songs about love and a feeling of decampment. And even though we know that your mind is set on a sweet depression, you’ll have to trust us on this one of we tell you that “Gravy” is the perfect soundtrack to the season.

Behind the moniker lurks Danish Nikolaj Grummesgaard and everything about his first album sounds as though it was recorded by a bunch of friends in his living room. Maybe that’s really how it happened: The drummer of one track does the backing vocals on another, the Christian Anderson-like named Jette Julie Rosendal (who probably wears a wonderfully soft skirt and a red barrette in her warm blond hair) hums backing vocals, someone coms in just to play the Glockenspiel (wonder when that last happened since Mike Oldfield in 1973) and Grummesgaard delivers sad-happy vocals with his silkily wounded voice while playing Guitar, Organ and Mellotron. The instrumentation already hints at the 60ss and there is indeed a sense of Hippie optimism all around, with tracks being contageous, catchy, candyflavoured yet never naive – “Gravy” radiates as much energy as harmony and it reserves enough space for the slightly melancholic moments, such as the brilliant backbeat prayer “Shine on us” or the winking slacker-hymn “Bored and Lazy”. The guitars floar in pearly heaven, the harmonies dream away into the distance and the tracks melt like sugary butter in the sun. Nikolay may have a background in punk rock and lo-fi (as former guitarist of bands such as “The Defectors” and “Godless Wicked Creeps”), but none of that is audible on this occasion. Insetad, these are eleven perfect pop songs with leaps into Country, Indie, Hillbillie and Electro Pop lined-up like a rainbow-coloured necklace and perfectly timed: Despite clocking in at a mere thirty-three minutes, the record is not a second too short.

Almost two years old already, the album was a small-scale success in Denmark and only the first sign of life of a project which has now turned into a fully-fledged band on stage. Whether their second effort, which is being written and recorded as we speak, will still be filled with the same living room coziness will have to be seen, but until then, “Gravy” gives us strength to get out of bed in the morning, tunes to shake your toothbrush to and add a delicious snap of lemon to your hot cup of tea. Your Winter needs this album.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Gravy
Homepage: Pony Records
Homepage: Popup Records

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