An thrilling week full of surprises and returns for the lovers of a particular bittersweet and sullen Scandinavian indie pop sound, unexpectedly old, almost forgotten, acquaintances from Sweden, Robert Church & The Holy Community, and erratic yet firm certainties from Denmark, Northern Portrait.
Precisely the latter following the hyper-dilated pace that distinguishes them, to which we are now accustomed, to be clear the album on their Twitter profile was announced as next in October 2019, are back, about a year after the first jangling teaser “At Attention”, with the second single taken from the long, long-awaited sophomore LP “The Swiss Army”, more than twelve years since the quartet’s debut full-length “Criminal Art Lovers” in January 2010.
“Once Upon A Bombshell” is laced with heady lyrics that observe another lifestyle through a lens of negativity, judgement, and jealousy to make a pungent statement about ego-driven desire.
The tune, while keeping the band’s innate Morrissey-sque haunting crooning distinction from singer Stefan Larsen, blends the introspective lyricism of The Go-Betweens’ period “Liberty Belle…” and a more bitter Lloyd Cole & The Commotions with the 60s vibes, ala Kinks or The Zombies, instilled by the hummable and winding mellotron/organ flourishes.
A heartfelt and mercurial melancholy ballad, veiled by a melodious melancholic gauze of swaying energetic strums, warm bass pulsations and poignant sparkling guitar melodies, topped by the intense elegiac heartache of flashing and reeling organ riffs swirling wistfully along emotional-filled vocal harmonies shedding doubt and fear with vibrant strangled romanticism.
The Danish 4-piece own a natural gift for churning out compelling, irresistible, immaculate pop songs with painstaking attention to composition and arrangements, combined with an unpredictable melodic quality filled with seemingly inexhaustible nuances. “Once Upon A Bombshell” is yet another proof of this.
NorthernPortrait‘s sophomore LP, “The Swiss Army”, is scheduled to be released, in Vinyl, CD & Digital formats, on August 5th via Matinée Recordings.
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