"This past Spring, Vincent Moon traveled to Copenhagen with a mission to do a film with Slaraffenland, featuring the ten songs from our new album We're on Your Side. We met with Vincent in Texas, during SXSW, a few weeks before - but the plans for Copenhagen were still developing when he arrived. Everyone was very excited about what was going to happen.
The basic idea was to film the entire album on the streets of Copenhagen, our hometown. We set aside three days for filming, and expected to start immediately when Vincent landed. We were surprised to find a very relaxed filmmaker at the airport - he wanted to spend time together and meet about our ideas, and then film the entire album in one day. This surprise led us down a path that was impulsive and more passionate. With help from friends, fellow musicians and cooperating strangers in Copenhagen, we drove a flower-decorated van around the city on a Sunday in May, shooting all our new songs and documenting the city of Copenhagen as we love it."
- Mike Taagehøj of Slaraffenland
1: Long Gone
LOCATION: Refshale Island (our old rehearsal space).
2: Meet and Greet
LOCATION: The wind mills on Lynetten.
3: Too Late to Think
LOCATION: Christiania (freetown in Copenhagen).
FEATURING: Efterklang (trumpet, tools, bells and lapsteel).
4: Stars and Smiles
LOCATION: Christianhavns Kanal.
FEATURING: Mads Graver (captain of the boat)
5: The Right Place
LOCATION: The old stage in Enghavepark.
FEATURING: Valby Vokalgruppe (vox), Jakob Thorkild (vox), Signe Jørgensen (vox), Mette Juel Andersen (vox), Vigga Juel Taagehøj (vox), Alicia Jordanova (vox), and Stephan Sieben (Guitar).
LOCATION: In Danish musician/writer T. S. Høeg (T.S. Hawk’s) apartment.
FEATURING: T.S. Høeg (sax), Claus Højensgaard (trumpet), Maria Bertel (trombone), Stephan Sieben (guitar), and Alicia Jordanova (vox).
7: Falling out
LOCATION: On the top of Rundetaarn (Round Tower).
LOCATION: Inside Rundetaarn (Round Tower).
9: Open Your Eyes – At the Royal Danish Academy of Music
LOCATION: At the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
FEATURING: Gustav Sandegaard (drums), Asbjørn Vrang Hauberg (drums), Mads Andersen (drums), Martine Madsen (drums), Peter Barnow (drums), Jakob Johansson (drums), Cæcilie Trier (Cello), Elena Setien and (Violin).
LOCATION: At Jernbanecafeen, an old bar.
FEATURING: Mames Babegenush(woodwinds, drums), Claus Højensgaard(trumpet), Gustav Sandegaard(drums)
Sound: Petter Samuelsson and Søsser Von Bülow.
Sound mix: Petter Samuelsson and Niklas Antonson
Slaraffenland wish to thank: Mathieu, Rasmus, Petter, Søsser, Adam, Sara, Mads, Mette, Vigga, Alicia, Katrine, Rolf, Louise, Leo, Efterklang, Valby Vokalgruppe, Mames Babegenush, Jakob, Signe, Stephan, Torsten, Claus, Gustav, Asbjørn, Cæcilie, Elena, Mads, Martine, Peter, Jakob, Rundetårn, Jernbanecafeen, DKDM, Statens Kunstråd.
About Slaraffenland and We're on Your Side: Vocal harmonies ring out to the pulsing beat of a delayed floor tom. A guitar wakes up the reeds. The subtle organic percussion of handclaps punctuates the amplified air, the music becoming a distinct human synthesis. This is a pop song. This is Slaraffenland. Based in Denmark, they embrace the art of shape, of space, and of slow gratification, hand-carving their sound with the diligence and artistry often associated with their nation's design heritage. This year, Slaraffenland reintroduces themselves with the magnificent release of We're on Your Side. The new LP and CD from Hometapes and Rumraket connects the points between stage and studio — bringing Slaraffenland's virtuosic musicianship, pop sensibility, emotional directness, compositional experimentalism, and the road-proven energy of their live performance into absolute, impeccable, and addictive focus. This is the record Slaraffenland fans have been waiting for — and the sound, remarkably accessible, that should summon thousands more.
Slaraffenland began as a whisper across the American and Danish landscape - a mysterious name, a menagerie of instruments, and the frontier of self-booked tours were the calling card this five-piece from Copenhagen. In what was like a reunion of long lost friends, Slaraffenland joined Hometapes and Rumraket in 2006. Their groundbreaking album Private Cinema followed in 2007, lighting up the eyes of music listeners everywhere, Pitchfork declaring, "The album as a whole is a brave perambulation, drawing on the acidic thunderstorms and gorgeous lullabies" and Stereogum deeming Slaraffenland a "band to watch," placing them alongside the likes of Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids, and My Brightest Diamond on their curated tribute to Radiohead tribute, OKX). Driven by a choreographed concept (an abstracted map of the compositions hung on the recording studio door), the band's first venture into vocal accompaniment (their first two self-released records were instrumental), and album packaging dreamed up by the world-famous Friends With You, Private Cinema was a bold statement. However, that was just the beginning.
The waves created by Private Cinema washed ashore in both the US and Europe, with Slaraffenland appearing at landmark festivals Roskilde, SPOT and SXSW in the following months. The year 2008 was highlighted by Slaraffenland's US tour with countrymen/friends/collaborators Efterklang and the release of the Sunshine EP, a bona fide souvenir of their exuberant and prodigious live performances (see Brooklyn Vegan for a recount of their knockout Knitting Factory show in NY) and a sneak peek into the future of Slaraffenland -- and specifically, We're on Your Side. "There is no doubt that the tours we've done in the US have made us a better band," says Slaraffenland's Mike Taagehøj. Limited to short tours in their home country, the American club scene has definitely played the role of the "sixth man" in the growth of Slaraffenland, who debuted songs from We're on Your Side at their SXSW performances in March 2009.
Conceived in 2002, Slaraffenland (translated: the land of milk and honey) is the work and art of Christian Taagehøj, Mike Taagehøj, Bjørn Heebøll, Niklas Antonson, and Jeppe Skjold. These five members (a few of them childhood friends, and Mike and Christian are near-identical twins) were united by both a love of music and a scholastic interest in its techniques. Among them are three fathers, teachers, and players knit into the music scene in sonically-vibrant Denmark. Slaraffenland singlehandedly curated and hosted an event at SXSW 2009 called "Danish Dynamite," an outdoor party featuring the likes of Efterklang, Murder, and Choir of Young Believers. They returned home to hammers and saws, breaking ground on their own rehab project of turning an old factory building into a studio. The racket was recently interrupted by the news that the Danish Arts Council awarded five Danish bands generous grants to continue their work. Among them: Slaraffenland.
We're on Your Side is available from Hometapes (worldwide) and Rumraket (Scandinavia & Benelux). Deluxe packaging featuring the art of Cody Hudson (Chicago-based proprietor of Struggle Inc.) accompanies the vinyl LP and compact disc release.