broen I <3 Art (clear vinyl LP, £19.75)label: bella union
They may share a name and home country with one of Nordic TV’s darkest detective dramas, but you won’t find any dismembered bodies or nihilistic feelings on Broen’s ‘I <3 Art’. Bursting with experimental pop exuberance and driven by a spirit of warm commonality, the five-piece’s debut album exults in the pleasures of intelligent music; its deep rhythms, dreamy melodies and dazzling sounds building bridges between bustles of jazzy percussion, psychedelic flourishes, funk grooves, mellifluous electronics and hip-hop beats. And if Norwegian-noir clichés and all other generic conventions are playfully bucked on its brightly exploratory way, such is Broen’s mission. Recorded in Oslo’s Studio Paradiso, engineered by Jaga Jazzist’s Marcus Forsgren, and mixed by the band with Nick Terry, ‘I <3 Art’ bursts with invigorating life. As Hans Hulbækmo (drums) puts it, “It’s both soft and hard. Beautiful and ugly or corny. Adventurous and experimental but still groovy. It’s honest and ironic. It has a lot of good energy. It was recorded live in the studio and it was a very joyful and positive experience. I think that shines through in the music, at least for us.” Vinyl format includes download code.
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