Soren Lokke Juul’s debut album as Indians is one which has been in the pipeline for many years, previously limited to youtube releases, his signing to 4AD has given him the freedom to put together an album representative of his previous work. With his Scandinavian roots it is easy to draw comparisons with Bon Iver and Sigur Ros, yet Indians album can not be described as a copy of these two.
The album opens with New, it appears a thought out, planned introduction to the album, sampling vocals with an underlying euphoric tone. Bird follows in a similar vibe, the minimal notes make the track one which would struggle to stand out in a busy room, yet its this delicate sound that give the song a degree of interest and complexity reaching beyond the music. I Am Haunted changes tempo and almost feels like a switch of genre. The introduction of a catchy guitar rhythm gives the song a refreshing feel, as a listener you see comparisons with Destroyer and James Yorkstone. Magic Kids sees a song which has a great deal of potential but fizzles out, the song builds in layers and complexity but never really explodes, a real shame as the song has Arcade Fire vibes about it, just not quite as perfect to be considered in the same ballpark.
Somewhere Else as an album continues in a similar manner, with Lips Lips Lips and La Femme having a nice, yet expressionless feel to them. Cakelakers for me is the highlight of the album, a song that would sit perfectly in a sun drenched park in the summer time, whilst also offering a degree of warmth that is lacking in other parts of the album.
The album is strongly influenced by the distinguishing high pitch vocals of Juul, although never truly powerful in effect, his voice layered amongst simple chords and minimal backing stands apart, catching the listener’s attention. The delicate sounds combined with the occasional catchy folk-esque tunes and random uses of synthesisers works well to make Somewhere Else an album that is unlikely to have a massive break through impact, but help create a dedicated following who appreciate his album for the simple yet effective quality it possesses. In summary, it’s an album that could easily be missed, but given time and attention grows upon the listener.
Words: Adam Gardiner