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The basement clubs of Denmark have launched a slew of acts now gaining international attention. Iceage’s sophisticated sophomore record Your Nothing suggests they still lead the pack, but Lower are gaining. The punk ferocity of last year’s Walk on Heads EP has been surpassed by their 2013 singles. The principal force behind Lust for Youth’s gloomy pop is the work of a Swede named Hannes Norrvide, but he shares the Danes’ outlook and a touring band member in Loke Rahbek (who plays in VÅR with Iceage singer Elias Rønnenfelt and Lower bassist Kristian Emdal, illustrating how entwined it’s all become).
All the way from Cape Town, South Africa, comes Yannick Iluga, a crooner in the classic style—slow, deep, soulful. That voice is set off by the modern, minimal version of pop R&B that’s very of the moment.
He was founding member of French pop heroes M83, back when they went for tasteful ambience more than radio hooks, but Parisian Nicolas Fromageau now makes dark, catchy music as Team Ghost. Their shoegaze fuzz is balanced with synth-punk rumble.
The addition of guitarist Brody McKnight made 2012’s Sundowning the very heaviest moment from Vancouver punks Nü Sensae to date. No mercy should be expected from their noisy live set.