2017 seems a very special year for this town. Not necessarily because of the whole European capital of culture-thingy, which haven’t been all that noticeable in this year’s first three months, in regards of bands, concerts and all that we’re dealing with here at Sound of Aarhus. It has – more importantly – become an actual Music City, with growing environments we can’t consider ‘underground’ no more. A lot of local bands are impressing us these days, and it seems that the rest of the music industry is really starting to notice just that.
Due to a lot of different circumstances, we haven’t been able to write many articles lately – but it doesn’t mean, that we’ve stopped going to concerts or check out the new releases hitting our inbox, and we’re reaching a point where the romantic view on Aarhus (you know, all the various articles from medias all over the world telling everyone how great a place it is to visit) feels more and more justified.
Just the other day, I went to a debut concert with The New Family in Dome of Visions and experienced a band with a potential to reach far beyond the Danish borders – and today, we’re doing a local spotlight on Cousin, a very promising new, local band. They just released their debut single and with it a video that – combined – not only shows talent, but that they’re not just another releasing-via-Souncdloud-band (not that there’s anything wrong with that). No, these guys understand what it means to release a debut-single, and they’re doing it in style.
Cousin is to be considered a prog-pop band, and ‘These Walls’, the band’s first single, is hopefully a testament to what’s coming from Cousin in the near future. It’s dramatic, challenging and with a lot of emotions – which is backed by a just as impressive video made by Comrade, a new Aarhus-based production company started by Lauge Roland and Magnus Lund.
We had a chat with Cousin, to figure out what they’re all about, and from here, it’s all on you to read the interview and then sit back and enjoy the 3 minutes and 58 seconds of this debut-piece.
Who’s Cousin, and how did you get together as a band?
Cousin is a four-piece band based in the city of Aarhus. We’ve been under way for almost two years now, so it’s a huge relief to finally launch the project. It’s friendship, laughter and the joy of being nerdy about making music.
We got together in the fall of 2015, where the first ideas for songs began to emerge. We gathered the team, and decided to meet up in a dusty, small rehearsal space at Laurits’ and Mikkel’s high school. On this first day of rehearsing, we almost finished what would become our first single ‘These Walls’. It became clear to us, that there was some special spark here. We’ve been working, writing and polishing ever since.
You’ve recently released your first single – tell us about the creation of these songs; where does the inspiration come from, and how do you develop the songs as a band?
As mentioned, our first single was actually the first song we ever wrote together. After two years of work, it almost feels like an old track for us. We’ve been peddling back and forth to Copenhagen to work with our producer Birk Nevel (Turbolens, Moses: Andreas). He has made the sound we wanted possible. Textually, almost all the songs come from some kind of personal experience. It’s the same with our debut-single. When we’re talking about friends, family or even about love, we are constantly dependent on each other. In this regard, ‘These Walls’ is a disappointing sigh – our will and our dreams are not the same. As for the music, it’s always something that we develop together. We’ve all been listening to a lot of Mew, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Kashmir, but we always try to renew our sound. We’ve had time to think and develop. We’ve been fine tuning the tracks and our visual profile until we were happy with everything.
The video for ‘These Walls’ is really something else. How important is the visual expression for you as a band?
The visual expression has been a focus point from the get go, to have a keen eye on the visual as well as the auditive part of our music. But we can’t take all the credit. We’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by a lot of talented artists in a lot of different art-forms. The video for ‘These Walls’ was made by our good friends from COMRADE, a brand new production company. We were also kind of shocked when we first heard the outline for the video. It definitely takes the themes from ‘These Walls’ to the extreme. We all took a chance with making the video a little more provocative, but we think it turned out great – we are really happy with the final result. Similarly, our artwork for the single on Soundcloud is made by the brilliant Matilde Fogh. We’ve also collaborated with the webseries called “Saadan Nogen Som Os”, where ‘These Walls’ is the title track, and there are more collaborations to come. We want to give the music context, and we can’t achieve that on our own. We think it’s important to tell the whole story.
If you were to describe your music to our readers without using genre
labels, how would you describe the sound of Cousin?
We usually describe the project as an attempt to make the box we call pop-music a little bit bigger.
Tells us about the plans for Cousin… can we expect an EP or an album anytime soon?
We have big plans for the future. We’re dying to show even more of our music, and there is absolutely more coming soon.
Finally, if you should recommend a couple of local bands or artists, that people, in your opinion, should check out – which bands or artists would you recommend?
If you haven’t already, you should really check out our friends from Soon. They’ve recently released two brilliant singles, and we get the feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg.