Friday 9 December 2016

Music: Treefight for Sunlight by Treefight for Sunlight ****

(Bella Union)

Published 18/02/2011 | 05:00

Denmark lags some way behind its Scandinavian neighbour Sweden when it comes to hook-laden pop, but this foursome -- barely out of their teens -- are helping to redress the balance.

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The Beach Boys -- that most influential of bands -- provide inspiration. But it is the band behind the daring, inventive Surf's Up and Heroes and Villains rather than comparatively straight-up California Girls or I Get Around that have hooked this all-singing troupe from Copenhagen.

While there's undoubted complexity to the arrangements, at no point does the innovation come at the expense of these sun-kissed tunes. These are songs to admire -- and to hum. And the joyful harmonies are quite lovely too.

Lead single Facing the Sun got the band noticed last year -- and little wonder. It's a song for whom the words effervescent, thrilling and uplifting might well have been dreamed up. Truly, it is someone with a very heavy heart indeed who, on even a casual acquaintance with the song, is not moved by its giddy rhythms and glorious harmonising.

Elsewhere, the quartet sound like a Nordic Grizzly Bear, another group indebted to Brian Wilson and family. That's evident from the eclectic nature of tracks that variously employ synths, swirling strings and sizzling guitar riffs. Psych-pop, prog-rock, dream-pop -- they co-exist happily.

Detractors have a certain justification in pointing out the cloying nature of the album when swallowed whole, but there's absolutely no argument when enjoying tracks in clusters, or isolation.

The Universe is a Woman, unashamedly epic, sounds like a lost classic from the tail-end of the 60s, while What Became of You And I? takes a bar-room piano and a militaristic drumbeat and creates magic -- oh, and the chorus will hermetically seal itself inside your brain on first listen.

Burn it: Facing the Sun; The Universe is a Woman; You and the New World

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