Nicolas Jaar Remixes When Saints Go Machine

We’ve been extolling the virtues of Denmark’s When Saints Go Machine for some time now. Their music is very evocative of specific places and feelings, with a premium on emotional honesty. As such, it’s a pleasure to see their work interpreted by another artist who shares these same qualities. Nicolas Jaar delivers a stirring version of the track, incorporating some wonderful new sonic elements. All of this great music just gets us that much more excited for WSGM’s upcoming album Konkylie, which is set for a June release.

Danish four-piece When Saints Go Machine — Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild (vocals), Jonas Kenton (keyboards), Simon Muschinsky (keyboards) and Silas Moldenhawer (drums) — are the latest act to sign to !K7 Records, with a five track EP set for early 2011 release. Lead track ‘Fail Forever’ pitches lyrics that ache with existential angst against a gorgeous backdrop of electronics and mournful cellos. Frontman Nikolaj has a falsetto to die for – see ‘Pinned’, where it soars over arhythmic drums and swelling strings. ‘Pick Up Your Tears And Run’, meanwhile, is an ethereal soundscape of intertwined voices and keys. All told, it’s stunning stuff.

The four members were childhood friends who met through their parents, who all lived in the same neighbourhood in Copenhagen. They formed the band in 2007. Nikolaj explains: “Our initial goal was to make something that would work in a club environment, but we kind of got tired of the whole four-on-the-floor thing. We wanted to make music that would transcend the borders of Denmark. I guess what we do now is pop with a lot of electronics.”

At the beginning of 2008, still more or less unknown, they ended up playing their first ever gig at Vega, one of Copenhagen’s leading venues. In 2009 they went on to win the Danish National Radio Talent Of The Year Award. Fast-forward to this year and When Saints Go Machine opened the Roskilde festival, playing to 45,000 people. “That felt fantastic,” says Nikolaj. “It’s hard to describe. I felt they could see through me, like I couldn’t hide anywhere. But the reaction was amazing, hearing that roar when we walked on, and then I felt like I didn’t want to leave.” Having honed their live chops, they are set to tour extensively over the next 12 months.

Looking to the future, Nikolaj says the aim is to release an album next year. “It’s not finished yet, but we’re nearly done. We’ve used more classical instruments this time, although some of them don’t sound classical, because we mess with them because of our electronic background. The arrangements are bigger and better. It’s more evolved all round.”

Bigger and better: it sounds irresistible. When Saints Go Machine are poised for great things.

Fail Forever
Pick Up Your Tears And Run
You Or The Gang
Greys And Blues

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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