Set for release on 2 December, Danish band Danophone’s debut ‘Rerun’, is in their words an album of, “melancholic songs from the happiest city in the world’s happiest country.”
Reminding the listener of John Mayer, and Seattle band, RIYL, the guitar-led tracks are poignant and sad, but nonetheless beautiful.
Danophone, named for a word which means “Danish speaking by birth or adoption”, is the side project of science journalist Carsten Nielsen, who provides vocals, as well as playing guitars, bass, keys, and sax. The other band members are Bertil Bille, on drums, and Tino Pedersen providing backing vocals, guitars and bass. Production is by Carsten, as well as Elias Bille.
Nielsen and Pedersen, a fellow journalist, have been friends since their teens in high school, and they’ve also performed in bands and duos as ‘Capones’, and ‘Syndikatet’.
Bertil Bille is an award-winning jazz and rock drummer, while DJ Elias Bille additionally performed the mixing and mastering.
Nielsen uses songwriting as emotional counterweight to the fact based world of research and
technology. The songs on ‘Rerun’ sound like the life stories of people habitually repeating their mistakes – think ‘Groundhog Day’. It’s not going too far to presume that some of them are mistakes Nielsen has made:
“Those songs were written at a low ebb, so it’s not the whole truth. Just the darker nuances of it.”
‘Rerun’ comprises eleven tracks, and is essentially a semi-melancholic catalogue of regrets, which sounds strange considering Nielsen is from Aalborg in Northern Denmark, recently declared the Happiest City in Europe – with Denmark the World’s Happiest Country, according to the United Nations.
“That’s a lot of happiness in one spot. Obviously we’re lousy ambassadors for that part of the national and local branding. But occasionally a few miserable songs with only smidgets of hope can be the right prescription for your mental hygiene.”
Some of the tracks on ‘Rerun’ found their origins in demos made on cassette tape, which they kept not for the sound obtained from using that format, but because Danophone rates authenticity higher than fidelity. The band’s new songs will likewise begin using a simple recorder with limited options for the same reason.
Says Nielsen again:
“It’s a necessary dogma rule for me. If there’s a computer involved at that state, the technology geek in me takes over and I will have the machinery do amazing things that unfortunately are totally irrelevant for writing and recording songs.”