Written by Mai Hiura Henriksen.
The lovely girls from Giana Factory, Lisbet Fritze (guitar), Sofie Johanne (bass and synths) and Loui Foo (vocals and drum pads), are finally back again after 4 years of explosive excitement and their critically acclaimed Save the Youth (2010), with an album produced by Anders Trentemøller, Lemon Moon.
Their album as a whole is more uplifting than their last, which in my opinion suits them very well. Even though it only is their second album, I have a feeling it definitely will pull some international attention.
It all starts with the track titled Right or Wrong, where we are met by a musical box (one of those you had as a kid) slowly deteriorating into a scary sound, accompanied by a little distortion. Harmonious choir voices lift the heaviest bass line and dark components into something like sunlight and blue skies. This is the kind of ambience which occurs throughout the whole album. Obscure, melancholic, happy-go-lucky and dance friendly at the same time.
Trentemøller has contributed very well-produced beats that can be both calm and clubby and the same time. It’s important to stress that even though the sound is produced in collaboration with Trentemøller, it definitely doesn’t drown in his sound, and you can still clearly hear the girls’ style. The way the songs are constructed with a little bas, a little guitar, a little vocal, melts into grand, sentimental dance tracks.
Here are a couple of songs worth to point out:
There’s nothing like heavy electronic beats with a light voice to pick it up. Walking Mirror, Don’t Fall In Love, Head Up High and It’s Your Life are good examples of how the contrasts in this album work. At one moment it’s the most dance friendly song, and the next moment you’re left with a kind of sadness that gets more intense as the song plays.
The track Lemon Moon is spacey as hell and could well be a start to some kind of serious industrial deep techno track. At about 2:30, the song turns into a deeply untamed animal that crawls under your skin and stays there. Classic Trentemøller.
Downtown is the most melancholic and most simplistic song on the album, with focus on their vocals. I read somewhere that this was one of the best songs, because it was simple and sounded like their “old self”. I need to disagree on this one. They can do so much more than just being their old selves. Like their huge hit, Rainbow Girl, their contrasting elements of happy and sad, upbeat and slow are something they really understand how to express.
Songs like My Power Obey really open up my ears and pupils, and really is a powerful song. It’s a very Trentemøller-like production with psychedelic, weird and disturbing ingredients. It’s such a sublime song because everything fits together perfectly – from the single beats to the echoes of the vocal to the intense instrumental build-up, and gives non-stop goosebumps throught the song. It tickles your stomach in a wonderful way, and just when you think it stills off, it bursts into character again.
It’s an album that gets better every time you hear it. It’s so scarily schizophrenic that you can be dancing and crying at the same time.
For the first time I don’t really have many critical points. The only critique is that some of the songs are quite monotonous – there are not as much movements or developments during the songs. This in mind, the total experience is graded a 4.5/5 because of its creation as a whole.