After featuring Under Byen last month, the good folks at Morningside Records kindly left a handful of suggestions in the comments. Their roster balances between two forces of pop music: dreamy and power. I Am Bones does the power pop thing, along the lines of Figurines. I find it interesting that these two fine Danish bands draw heavily from the American indie rock sound from the 90s at a time when so many contemporary American bands lean towards the heady, arena-sized sound of Radiohead. I’m not afraid to admit my bias. Usually when I drop needle to groove, or hit play, or insert my ear-buds, I want to sing-along (dig the chorus to “The Ostrich Approach:” “I’ll hook you up / with alcohol and valium…”), jump around, get the endorphins flowing…I don’t want to think about music, I just want to move to it. I Am Bones will certainly get you shaking your own skeleton. If I might point out one song in particular here, “Oktoberfest Vs. Morrissey” would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving mix tape. ONLY if you’re a loud and proud meat lover. Vegans beware. May I suggest a subtitle? “Turkey Vs. Tofurkey.”
I need to thank David Byrne for tipping me off to Under Byen. And more thanks is overdue to Mr. Byrne for tipping me off years ago to a tasty soup special at Shopsins, back when Kenny & Co. were at their original location (I’m dying to see “I Like Killing Flies,” dying harder actually for a plate of Slutty Cakes and a tall tumbler of their Horchata!). Under Byen is a Danish ensemble, who maneuver orchestrally, and percussively, in the dark end of the pop music spectrum. Beautiful, hushed vocals draw you in and keep you warm in songs which befit the cold, cold landscape of Denmark.