One Track Mind: David’s Angels, “Rid Of You,” from What It Seems (2013)

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The allure of Danish-Swedish quartet David’s Angels comes from their uneasy truce among chanteuse jazz, avant-Prog and indie rock, and the tension that creates. The attraction also comes from the minimalist arrangements creating plenty of exposed moments, and music that’s direct. And lastly, it’s the amazingly adaptive vocal of Sofie Norling.

For their new, second album What It Seems, she sings like Judy Collins of the self-titled first track, a polish with just the right touch of feel. On the second track, she shows us much more. “Rid Of You” is funky not in the James Brown way, but in the stop/starts at the end of each measure kind of way. Maggi Olin launches the vamp on her crackling Fender Rhodes, and electric bassist David Carlsson and drummer Michela Østergaard-Nielsen establish the stuttering gallop that temporarily softens up only to return with an even greater tightness. Norling sings not over it but with her bandmates, at times pouting as deeply soulful as Joss Stone and at others, grunting and sweating like, well, James Brown.

About four and a half minutes in, when you’d expect the song to peter out, Olin pivots over to piano and sets in motion a new motif, and the flogging of the drums with a nasty, distorted bass sends the song off into a Ben Folds Five direction until it just falls completely apart at the end.

The range of emotions one goes through when trying to make a clean break from a relationship all come flowing out of the voice of Norling. The swagger and unpredictability she and the rest of the band brandishes makes an impression, too. All of this instills a truly human character into “Rid Of You.”

What It Seems was released last April by Kopasetic Productions. Visit David’s Angels Facebook page for more info.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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