Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Fail Forever” from Scandinavian electronic group When Saints Go Machine‘s 2011 album, also called Fail Forever, available on !K7 Records
The newly signed Danish electo/pop group is comprised of Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild (vocals), Jonas Kenton (keyboards), Simon Muschinsky (keyboards) and Silas Moldenhawer (drums). The four grew up together, decided to form the band back in 2007, and just put out their 6-track album this past in January. When Saints Go Machine have often said that their music is specifically aimed at the club scene. However, they’ve wanted it to sound unique and sought to make dance/pop music that lived outside of the four-on-the-floor mainstay of music European dance music. The result is layered, often moody but always enthralling sound.
Although not prominently featured on today’s song, singer Vonsild has a captivating falsetto, much like that of The Dears’ Murray Lightburn, Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe, or Antony Hegarty. Vonsild’s strong pipes are capable of taking the band’s experimental electronic beats to interesting new heights. Musically, they blend 80’s style synths, club beats including a bit of dubstep, and orchestral instrumentation. Their ambition has apparently turned heads in their home country, as they’ve received the 2009 Danish National Radio Talent Of The Year Award and earned a spot at the Roskilde Festival that same year.
Looking ahead, the band plans to drop a full album sometime in 2012. They’re rumored to be honing in on their sound and adding more classical instruments to their well-developed electronics. The result of this new direction, they claim, will make them “bigger and better.” Today’s featured track, “Fail Forever,” is a good indication of what that might sound like: a good vocal mix dropped over haunting cellos and on top of a solid dance beat.
To find out more about When Saints Go Machine, head over to their MySpace, Facebook and web pages. Oh, and to check out another side of the group, a here’s a video for “Pinned,” which is also on their debut record: