Hi, and welcome to A More Recent Song for Denmark, the Danish national selection for Fête de la Chanson 13 in Nashville. Six songs are competing for the Danish spot in the contest, and they all relate to the theme ‘the End’ in one way or another. The host city is my lovely hometown Aarhus.
The hosts are:
And here are the songs
1. Peter Sommer – “Hvad sker der i dit hoved”
Explanation: A song about committing suicide by jumping out in front of a car – and thus putting an end to one’s life. It was released in 2008, and perhaps there is also a hint at the beginning financial crisis which brought an end to a big economic bubble: the song contains lines such as “Oh let me get hit by a car which I can never afford to buy”.
Biography: Peter Sommer (born 1974) was originally part of a duo called Superjeg (Super-ego); they released two albums in 2002 and 2003. From 2004 he has worked as a solo artist, and he got a major breakthrough in 2004 with the song “Valby Bakke” from his first solo album På den anden side (On the other side). He is often seen as heir to C.V. Jørgensen in the category “lyric rock”.
2. Tv-2 – “Shakespeare i amerikansk politik”
Explanation: “Shakespeare i amerikansk politik” is a song about the 9/11 attack. There was a certain feeling of apocalypse in the days after it, and it definitely felt like the end of an era. The song is also dealing with the political consequences of the attack.
Biography: Tv-2 are centred around the singer and songwriter Steffen Brandt (born 1953). The band originated as Taurus in 1974 playing symphonic rock, but they changed name and musical direction in 1980, among other things under the influence of new wave. The band is especially associated with Brandt’s lyrics which are often ironic, taking a critical look at society and social tendencies.
3. Annika Aakjær – “Min pris”
Explanation: In the lyrics there is a film ending while the narrator is talking about a guy who didn’t take “one step further”.
Biography: Annika Aakjær (born 1982) is a prominent name on the Danish singer/songwriter scene. Album debut in 2008. She is known for her storytelling style, and she often expresses personal opinions through her songs.
Trivia: People who watched the Eurovision final in 2014 have actually seen her. She was one of the singers to perform the “Joyful” interval act (singing Beethoven on ladders). She was the one with long ginger hair.
4. Kenneth Thordal – “Sne over Jerusalem”
Explanation: Just as you think the song is reaching the end (after the second chorus), the music continues anyway, and the end gets postponed.
Biography: Kenneth Thordal (born 1965) originally played in a punk band in the late 80’s called Stalin Staccato. After a short-lived project in the 90’s, Nude, he debuted as a solo artist in 2003. However he has failed to reach a wide audience, though loved by music critics, and he has relatively few fans. I am one of them.
5. Kashmir – “The Push”
Explanation: The connection here is: the end of a writer’s block that could have ended the band’s career. After the successful album The Good Life (1999), the songwriter in Kashmir, Kasper Eistrup, had a writer’s block and was unable to compose any new songs. The ideas finally came back in late 2001 resulting in the album Zitilites (2003). Several of the songs are dealing with the block and the end of it, including this one, “The Push”: The person in the song wants to escape from it all, but then he gets the “push” and the “handshake” needed to change his direction, get on with the music and end the destructive dead water period.
Biography: Centred around the singer, guitarist and songwriter Kasper Eistrup (born 1973), Kashmir was formed in 1991. They originally called themselves Nirvana (!), but after the breakthrough of a band from Seattle with the same name later that year, they changed their name to Kashmir (after a song by Led Zeppelin). Album debut in 1994 with Travelogue. They originally played a sort of mix between Pearl Jam, Frank Zappa and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but they changed direction in the late 90’s, and in 1999 they released a highly succesful album called The Good Life. It was hailed by fans and critics as a masterpiece (and rightfully so), and it is regarded as a classic album today. The following albums are very much a further development of that style. Inspirations include Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, U2 and Pink Floyd.
6. Jens Unmack – “Happy Ending”
Explanation: The title speaks for itself, but it is pretty ironic. There’s an outspoken sense of doom in both the music and the lyrics here.
Biography: Jens Unmack (born 1964) is best known from a band called Love Shop which was formed in 1986. They were loved by critics though they didn’t reach a big audience. In 2004 they decided to take a break for an indefinite period. Jens Unmack released a few solo albums, including the first one, Vejen hjem fra rock’n roll, from which this song is taken, but after the death of the two other band members of Love Shop (one of them in a car accident), he is now continuing that band as the only original member.
Voting: To vote in the Danish national final, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, award the six songs 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points, in order from the most liked song (12 points) to the least liked song (2 points).
National Final Ends: 24 May 2016 at 23:59 CET
The Netherlands (Stommie)