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Under Byen

Samme Stof Some Stof

(Paper Bag Records; US: 24 Oct 2006; UK: 24 Oct 2006)

Under Byen is a Danish band that got praise from Rolling Stone‘s David Fricke some years ago. Paper Bag Records made it a point of signing them, and Under Byen will not be “under the city” for long with such an impressionable record. Think of a cross between Bjork’s vocal gymnastics and Sigur Ros’s guitars and songs like the leadoff “Pilot”, which soars immediately, thanks to vocalist Henriette Sennenvaldt, and you’ve got the idea. Just as alluring is the oddly arranged but surprisingly infectious “Den Her Sang Handler Om At Få  Det Bedste Ud Af Det” (sorry, no fricking idea what it translates into). It is a gorgeous, lush, and string-laced seven-minute track that ebbs and flows throughout before growing into something far greater than ever imagined. From there, Under Byen strike gold again with the dreamy “Tindrer” and the moody, dreary “Heftig”. Perhaps the most adventurous is the mysterious “Af Samme Stof Som Stof”, although the nine-minute eerie and haunting epic “Film Og Omvendt” sounds like it should be in some David Lynch or David Fincher film. Some numbers are shorter pieces, but another gem comes during “Siamesisk”, a simple yet very tender and sultry effort in the vein of Massive Attack. One worth seeking out!

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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