communions – “don’t hold anything back”

– featured image courtesy of lasse dearman –

danish four-piece communions have been gradually shedding their frosty outer shell for the better part of two years, with each subsequent release feeling less indebted to post-punk forebears and more informed by sharp, memorable hooks.  this progression seemed to culminate in the quartet’s excellent eponymous ep last summer, but then “don’t hold anything back” dropped.

wrapped in martin rehof’s buoyant lead vocal and powered by an especially fat snare drum, “don’t hold anything back” feels like communions’ first true foray into the realm of pop, a clear, glorious pivot from the more austere timbres that adorned their earliest work.  guitar arpeggios still appear at the forefront throughout the verses, but their fluid transition to simple, chiming chords just in time to bolster the hook is perhaps the key ingredient in this effortless composition; “don’t hold anything back” is an attractive mid-season contender for song of the summer.

communions recently signed to fat possum records and will release “don’t hold anything back” as the a-side of a 7″ due out september 16th.  check out the single below.

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communions – communions

out june 2nd via tough love records
out june 2nd via tough love records

communions are already sonically far-removed from their debut effort, last year’s cobblestones ep.  this fact hasn’t exactly presented itself as a revelatory flip of a switch, but rather a gradual – albeit accelerated – progression; their 7″ that followed traded raw, gloomy horizons for unabashed sunshine, a big first step out from under the shadow of fellow copenhagen post-punk outfit iceage.  on their new self-titled ep, the young danish quartet continues on their journey of carving out their own recognizable niche.

vast improvements in fidelity are immediately evident, but it’s imperative to set that fact aside for a moment.  opening cut “forget it’s a dream” finds communions retracing the path back through the dystopian abyss that birthed them to a more dance-oriented palate adorned with synth pads, textured palm-muting, and a prominent trebly bass line that dictates the song’s entire momentum.  the guitar countermelodies that are layered on top suggest a further shift away from former formulas: arpeggiations are delivered with a distinct purpose that moves beyond outlining the song’s harmonic structure and more towards providing clear and invigorating contour.

similar strategies are again practiced throughout the ep, particularly within the lead lines on “wherever” and the insistent, minimalist repetition at the beginning of “summer’s oath.”  when traditional arpeggios do surface they’re often relegated to supporting roles buried lower in the mix, although “restless hours” is a forgettable chunk of this record precisely because it falls back on old habits.  “out of my world” reads as indicative of everything communions strive to be on this ep: hopeless romantics with a sunny disposition that’s at times warped by heavily-saturated soundscapes.

communions are a very young band that have a very good full-length album brewing inside of them.  their embracement of a higher fidelity runs parallel to their drastic improvement as songwriters, with each added nuance afforded the proper amount of clarity to be fully recognized and appreciated.  in a genre that can be cripplingly formulaic, communions have begun to take the necessary preliminary strides to expand their possibilities, resulting in a solid second ep stuffed full of ambition ambition and triumph.

listen to a new song from communions

communions band
photo courtesy of rasmus jensen

communions was one of our favorite bands to emerge out of 2014 and the copenhagen quartet is picking up right where they left off with a self-titled ep, out june 2nd via tough love records.  yesterday communions unleashed “out of my world,” the closing track on the ep – and its lead single.  the song continues to pit the young band’s unbelievably sunny disposition against a more typical, gloomy post-punk backdrop, resulting in the marriage of soaring vocal melodies and rich, broken guitar arpeggiations.  it’s truly a sound to behold; take a listen to “out of my world” below.

listen to a new song from communions

the young danish band communions has run a large chunk of the musical gamut in a relatively short amount of time, touching on a lo-fi aesthetic for their cobblestones ep before taking a more polished approach on “so long sun,” the a-side of their upcoming 7″.  today the quartet shared that single’s b-side, another chiming, downright poppy effort called “love stands still.”  the new 7″ is out november 10th via tough love; take a listen to “love stands still” below.

listen to a new song from communions

copenhagen’s punk scene is packed full with exceptional talent, yielding bands like lower and iceage over the past few years.  joining the roster of head-turners is communions, a young quartet very much indebted to post-punk forefathers like joy division.  after releasing the excellent cobblestones ep via posh isolation this past march, the band is back with “so long sun,” the a-side to a 7″ out november 10th via tough love records.  contrasting the grit and low fidelity of their ep, “so long sun” finds communions experimenting with sharper production, chiming guitars, and soaring vocals bolstered by reverb.  it’s a suitable and welcomed shift that manages to send summer off in style.  check out the song below.

listen to a new song from sleep party people

Sleep-Party-Peopledimestore saints consciously strives to present new music in as timely of a manner as possible, but, every once in a while, great songs inevitably fall under the radar.  sleep party people first came to my attention courtesy of my colleague at heartbreaking bravery, whose sentiments regarding the band’s newest single, “in another world,” are absolutely spot on.  brian batz’s hypnotic, melancholy falsetto vocals are one of the focal points of sleep party people’s sound, but on “in another world” they’re augmented by a haunting violin melody and groove-heavy percussion to create an incredibly ominous earworm.  check out the track below, and look for sleep party people’s new album floating, out june 2nd via blood and biscuits.