The latest Danish outfit to have received positive attention by sifting a bit of folky seasoning into its songwriting is ‘The Grenadines‘. On 16 November the band, currently touring the country as warm-up for fellow Danish internationals, Carpark North, released their second, and less folky, album – ‘Band On The Radio‘. A collection of rich and sometimes very luscious pop/rock tunes.
Let’s be honest and cut it short – This album fully deserves all the spotlight and airplay it gets. Well written and well staged from start to end – We love it, and here is why (the long version).
From left to right: Kasper Daugaard, Morten Fillipsen, Dennis Debannic, Kasper Ejlerskov Leonhardt, Laurits Emanuel
The combo of releasing a few catchy songs and then go touring with the “unbreakable” Carpark North seems to have kicked in the door to the broader audience. Well played, guys!
Already during the summer of 2018 the four (now five) exceedingly gifted musicians caught the attention of some of Denmark’s leading hosts on national radio. They immediately picked the song ‘Brighter Days‘ for a heavy rotation.
This has no doubt helped propel the band forward, culminating with the release of ‘Band On The Radio’ – an album two years in the making. During that time the band changed the line-up as well as adjusted their musical tone.
‘Brighter Days’ (unplugged) – by The Grenadines
New band members and a slightly new sound
Since their 2015 debut album – just called ‘The Grenadines‘ – two new faces have joined the band. Multi-instrumentalist and co-founder Rumle Seiling Langdal left the band shortly after recording the album, and was shortly after replaced by guitarist and bass player Dennis Debannic. About the time the four were wrapping up the material for the new album, former Lukas Graham keyboardist, Kasper Daugaard, also joined.
The change shows on the new album, which is significantly less “folky” than the first. Several of the new tracks are left levitating in breathtaking pop layers – not at all present on the band’s debut. And though this in no way makes it a less interesting gambit, it surely leaves listeners with a very different experience.
Take for instance the perhaps most tuneful ballad ‘Billy Boy’ of the first album, and compare it to the equally beautiful ‘Times Come In Blue’ rounding up the new album. It feels like going from the intimacy of your local club stage straight to the Royal Albert Hall. Whether this alone is the difference between “with” or “without” Langdal on board, is not to say. But, it is definitely a change of sound.
Though we at Latebar enjoyed the band’s debut album a lot,’Band On The Radio’ too has several noteworthy qualities of its own.
An album of radio hits in succession
There’s no arguing The Grenadines’ second album comes with a handful of thoroughly worked out radio hits. Apart from ‘Brighter Days‘, already airborne, tunes like ‘Fireworks‘, ‘For You I Would Die Again‘ and the mysterious high-flyer ‘The Mountains‘ all have the quality to reach out, and there is really no reason why these fundamentally well written songs shouldn’t have some airtime in the months to come.
‘For You I Would Die Again’ – by The Grenadines
However, this is not all. Like the band’s debut installment, the new album has some joyful surprises up its sleeve. Most obvious is the Beatles-like ‘Sweetest Dream‘, which we believe will get festivals going across the country during the summer of 2019. But also the album’s title track grows on the keen listener, who appreciates a subtle yet international touch.
Two other songs totally caught the taste of this blogger though. One is the majestically beautiful ‘A Letter‘. This song works extremely well with Morten Fillipsen’s vocal, and draws a very elegant line from the 80s power-ballads to right now. If the band is able to get this song across the live stage with the same sincere authenticity, any audience will surrender right away. The second song stuck on repeat at Latebar is the Peter-Pan-Meets-Jabba-the-Hut song ‘Rufio And The Rancor‘. It contains just the right amount of hope, despair, will, longing, love, uncertainty, and devil-may-care attitude to cover a fully-fledged epic drama. We love it!
All-in-all, with ‘Band On The Radio’ The Grenadines are well on their way, establishing their own unique sound. Not least, thanks to the fundamentally robust songwriting and musical breadth of having two perfectly cast lead singers, Morten Fillipsen and Laurits Emanuel.
Could we wish for one thing though, it would be for the band to re-explore some of the stunning and distinctive polyphonic vocal arrangements established on the debut album in the future. Mixing the obvious vocal surplus with the grandiose touch of ‘Band On The Radio’ may just be the last piece to the perfect puzzle.
The Grenadines are: Kasper Ejlerskov Leonhardt (guitar), Laurits Emanuel (vocal, drums, guitar, everything), Morten Fillipsen (vocal, guitar), Dennis Debannic (bass, guitar), Kasper Daugaard (keyboard)
Track list for ‘Band On The Radio’:
2) Brighter Days
3) The Mountains
4) High Heels
5) Rufio And The Rancor
6) Sweetest Dream
7) For You I Would Die Again
8) A Letter
9) Band On The Radio
10) Times Come In Blue
Purchase albums (CD or LP) by The Grenadines at TargetShop.dk.
For the streamers the options are multiple too 🙂