I’ve always thought that good albums are worth waiting for. When you’re dealing with art, the material, or the output, should be on the premises of the artist. Not because the representation or label involved thinks it’s about time something’s released.
When dealing with an artist like Bisse, if there’s anything like this one, you rarely have to wait for an album. He’s successfully released 5 studio albums in a year and a half, with the latest being ‘Højlandet’ – out today. And they’re all good albums! Obviously, they aren’t all on that Bisse-level. The same goes for all the songs released since 2015. But would it have been different, if the albums were released every second or third year? I’m not sure. Especially not when Bisse is a guy who takes chances; he’s an artist, and with art you take chances, and with art, you divide the people. That’s just how it is.
Bled to death?
I felt quite certain, that after his ‘Blod’-trilogy, it would take him some time before delivering something at least equally good. With ‘Happy Meal’, the end of the trilogy, you’d think that Thorbjørn Radisch would need a moment to breathe. That the trilogy would’ve taken hard on him. Especially given the fact, that he in between two of the three albums found time to release ‘Bitchin’, a detour into the land of hip hop.
But, not long after, we’re served with ‘Big Tasty’. A 26-minute-long record, which still remains to catch my full attention. I guess I, as a listener, was full after ‘Happy Meal’. Today, we’re blessed with the release of ‘Højlandet’, the third release this year, which proves that just because he’s released a trilogy, it doesn’t mean that he hasn’t got anything else to say. Because he does. He really does.
But it’s a different Bisse, that we meet on this album. As if he’s stepped back a bit, just to get some perspective on things. Maybe even the helicopter version of perspective. It’s no longer a matter of being critical all the time or having an opinion on this and that. No, on ‘Højlandet’ we’re following an artist trying to understand something as heavy as death. Something Bisse calls death wellness.
Soft and heavy
I’ve had the album on repeat for some days now. I’ve listened to it again and again; while sitting, while lying, while making dinner, while eating dinner. It’s as if I’m suddenly addicted to it, by reaching that point where it makes me absolutely crazy, but I can’t listen to anything else – and certainly not pull the plug on it.
A subject like death makes you listen closely because you really wanna know what Bisse has to say about the subject. Even if it’s – at times – difficult to really figure out. These sort of explicit, diary-like observations are mixed with cryptic and poetic reflexions, which makes it necessary for the listener to really pay attention.
And who knows, maybe you, as a listener, should divide the experience of the 15 songs – almost 81 minutes – into two halves. That I, as a listener, should’ve done it in stages, but it’s hard. When you think you’re in need of a break, these soft, jazzy tones hits you – in a hypnotic way. When you think you’re in need of a break, a new song is on, and the change is simply phenomenal and has a hold on you. Take ‘Citybois i Højlandet’ and ‘Drabant’ as the perfect example.
A tough one, maybe even a stupid task, that I’ve given myself. But it makes no sense to take you through 15 songs. It’s quite simply not my job to go through it, not when it’s an album like this one. That’s entirely on you! Actually, come to think of it, you should pretty much forget all I’ve said before giving this one a spin.
Bisse, who’s pretty much his own, has been compared to the likes of Bowie, Nick Cave, and CV Jørgensen. Big names, when it comes to the art of songwriting, but on this record, I think that he finally proves, that he can live up to being compared to these guys. I’m not saying that he’s as good as them, but I can see why you’d compare the guy with such big artists. Songs such as ’Seks Hjerter, ’Nat Med Mig’, ’Selfiedøden’, and ’Drømmefundet’ all proves my point. I feel better not pointing out songs, though; this album is best when listened to from ‘Death Metal’ and all the way to ‘Showbiz’. That’s where he proves how big an artist he really is.
It seems obvious, that the five albums have been released too quickly seen from a commercial point of view. The listeners haven’t had a chance to keep up with his work. The same goes for radio stations; there are obvious hits in his catalogue for stations playing either pop, hip hop, punk or jazz. I’m convinced, and even more after the release of ‘Højlandet’, that Bisse will go on to become one of the most important, Danish artists we’ve seen in a very long time.
You can experience Bisse live on the 13th of October when he’ll be visiting Atlas. Stream the album on your favorite streaming service!
Bisse is a true artist, and he proves that on this album - even though it's the third release this year. Give it a spin, and do it from ‘Death Metal’ and all the way to ‘Showbiz’. It's an absolute pleasure. Danish speaking or not. (6/6)