Dánjal, Budam, Hamferð, Petur Pólson and Clickhaze

Dánjal «The Palace» (2008)

Dánjal «The Bubble» (2012)

R-5223031-1387978659-6904.jpegcover

Dánjal has always had success. Until the release of the greatest album «Time» in 2014, this Faroese-Danish band had played only klezmer music, and, I must admit, its CDs «The Palace» and «The Bubble» are just as good. Really, the Faroese Dánjal, Neystabø and the rest of the members didn’t experiment much – they’ve just made a hot mix – but it’s hardly a big failure.    «The Palace» is a highly beautiful record, which has naturally combined a rollicking Jewish music with penetrating melody. The final track «Longsul» with expressive piano part and string quartet is just awesome.

«The Bubble» begins with a frolicsome «With You» and shows, that the album has much in common with the previous projects. Despite the series of “invasions” to related genres of music, the record turns to be the logical extension of «The Palace». It’s a kind of a musical theatre, flavored by Tom Waits, quite unFaroese, and such to the core at the same time. «Bring Me Along» is very good, it smoothly glides to the «River». Indeed, the whole album is accepted as a dramatic work, that transforms into a perfect baroque pop by the end of the LP.

Budam «Man» (2010)

cover

Budam, except of some moments, is cut from the same cloth as Dánjal. His music is also very dramatized (besides, in his Facebook account musician describes his art as theatrical indie rock).  If we take «Man» as a stage production entitled Budam, then it will be really dramatic. Moreover it’s not a one-man show, but a grand-scale canvas with a number of actors. Tróndur Bogason (responsible for arrangement) and Jens Thomsen (not surprising, that he’s contributed a lot to the album) helped with production. And the best Faroese voices, Eivør Pálsdóttir, Ólavur Jakobsen and Ása Vrá sang back-up. The «Man» reminds me the collection of grim lullabies sometimes, and it’s difficult not to compare it with Dánjal’s music (или наоборот?). But the fact, that Budam created the powerful continuing of his music career after the release of «Stories Of Devils, Angels, Lovers And Murderers» (2007), is convincing. Very convincing work.

Hamferð «Evst» (2013)

cover

The Faroese hard music stage is well developed, and, speaking of it, I can just think of the Týr. Hamferð has less in common with them: instead of the rollicking vicking-metal one will hear the purest plaintive doom. Perhaps, one can hardly believe in this (I have no doubt), but the Faroe Islands, with a population of only 50 thousand, gave birth to a world-class band. Notably after the release of their EP in 2010, all the major labels suggested them a collaboration, but the guys decided «Evst» in Tutl. Interestingly, that Hamferð is eagerly accepted even by “unskilled” listeners — they’ll hear pure lively melodies in between the harsh spleen. It’s no surprise, that one of the Hamferð’s well-known videos is the one, in which they perform in Tórshavn Cathedral. To my mind, their music can be an ideal soundtrack to many of the biblical subjects.

As well as for the End of the world. Here’s the evidence.

S. Besides, there’s also a pleasant surprise for the fans of Eivør Pálsdóttir — she sings back-up in «Sinnisloysi».

Petur Pólson «Tokyó" (2009)

Petur Pólson «Transit» (2011)

covercover

Do you remember the big interview with Petur Pólson? From it, one can develop a sense of deep affection for this Faroese poet, which also teaches English at school and records great LPs at free time.  Petur, unfortunately, can’t boast of numerous solo projects: «Tokyó" and «Transit» are two of his three albums. His name, though, can be found in most of the СD lists, released in the Faroes: he may be a lyricist, a backing vocalist, or even a full band member (Ave, Tuxedo Rebels, Clickhaze). Put it bluntly, Pólson never remakes his style and work. Together with «Koma», the abovementioned releases form a solid and complementary triptych, filled with alternative rock, industrial and mental imbalance.  To be fair, Petur Pólson’s vocals isn’t very brilliant. He is not the Ólavur Jakobsen, which is able to pin everybody to the mat by merely his voice (it’s enough to mention the project Gestir). Thus, owing to numerous expressive means, our character is able to produce such “orka” tunes (here the author’s decided to transform the name of one of the iconic Faroese bands into neologism – Editor’s note), that one can hardly resist this power.

Clickhaze «EP» (2002)

cover

At their young age, Eivør Pálsdóttir, Petur Pólson, Mikael Blak, Jens Thomsen and Høgni Lisberg formed a band Clickhaze. It had a very short-lived existence, but still it left some concert videos, in which we hear Eivør’s unskilled voice and an EP with some six songs.  It’s very interesting to listen to this artifact. If properly promoted, the «Daylight» and «Indigo Brown» might have become hits, and Eivør could have been instead Amy Lee. Paul Mccoy, if desired,   can be replaced by Petur Pólson. You may laugh at it, but the release of Evanescence’s  «Bring Me To Life» is dated 2003, and the album of Clickhaze — 2002… Despite its incompleteness, the mini-album of this great band turned to be very popular for its time, and it would be curiously to imagine, what the life of these guys would be like, if they would have collaborated with major European producers.  And what should I do? More likely, I wouldn’t have simply done this review, if I hadn’t fallen in love with the solo works of Eivør, and then – with the Faroese music entirely. By the way, the reference to Black Sabbath (or rather the whole quotation) in the song «Notes From The Underground» is very amusing and bold.

Reviewer by Anton Kovalsky.

Translated by Irina Boiko.