Northeast Underground

Hail Odin! British Sea Power set sail for "Valhalla" on new release

Valhalla Dancehall

Fresh on the heels of their likewise mythological-titled record “Zeus,” the indie rocker lads who make up British Sea Power appear ready to chart a course for musical nirvana on their latest release, “Valhalla Dancehall.”

While I admit I was not too blown away by the group’s earlier efforts (a captivating appearance on Letterman in 2008 notwithstanding), this time around the band appears to have finally found a happy middle-ground between its experimental tendencies and anthem-prone aspirations.

Take for example the refinements made to the track “Mongk II,” which first appeared simply as “Mongk” on BSP’s recent EP. Gone are the mumbled vocals, and the once techno-heavy beat has been retooled to hit harder. Instead of a hypnotic haze, the song now has room to breathe, as evidenced by the banjo-tinged outro complete with sighing vocal lines.

Better still is “Dancehall’s” first single “Living is So Easy.” The tune opens inconspicuously enough with a simple drumbeat and a smattering of electronic noise, but soon evolves into a “Everyone’s going to the party” chorus that for some reason reminds me of what might happen if the boys of Blur hung out with Brian Wilson for a weekend.

Have a listen yourself, while watching perhaps the most blue-lip heavy video ever here.

Still, perhaps more revealing than a new record is the effort British Sea Power continues to put not just into their music, but also into their artwork and interactions with fans as well. Check out this Artrocker magazine article on how drummer Matthew Wood creates the group’s distinctive album covers. Also, for more insight into just how much of an effect British Sea Power can have on an audience, watch the mini-documentary below about the band during their memorable visit to the Isle of Eigg for a gig.

Nice to know there are still bands like this out there. Gives one hope when looking at the Top 40 chart and doing a shot for every time Lil Wayne or Justin Bieber’s name show up.

For more information on British Sea Power and future tour dates please visit www.britishseapower.co.uk/.

BSP at Eigg:

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