Gone are the days in which we have to make a trip around the world to discover obscure, new music in countries far, far away. With the mighty internet apps of the day, someone who might not make it out of their town can (audibly) explore the world with headphones. Brilliant! Nelson Can is a three piece from Denmark, the land of Vikings, and have been pillaging ears since 2011 when their band began as a joke. They liked the idea of telling people they were in a band, before music was actually part of the force. After that didn’t scratch the creative itch, they went for making it legit, and found some pop chops in the process. EP3 is the newest part of this facade gone real.
That we’re all connected on the globe now is pretty apparent as Nelson Can at times sounds like an unreleased material from Florence and the Machine or Feist. “Break Down Your Walls” introduces the EP in airy vocals and earthy bass tones. The tempo ambles in a personal, quiet space, Selina Gin’s voice surrounding the progression of the track. Her voice cracks with sincerity as she sings, “You’ve been holding back for a lifetime, without even knowing why you’re so afraid everyday.” Cohorts Maria Juntunen and Signe Signesigne chime in as the beat picks up and instrumentation floods in at an economic rhythm, echoing and layering with determination to fulfill the title of the song in breaking down walls. It’s an effective and optimistic song, but too familiar to standout.
“Miracle” has an eerie threatening tone. A sharp, buzzy bass continually rips through the otherwise poppy, soft sound, which proves to be a recurring power in EP3. It’s a telling layer that reminds the listener to not be swooned by the otherwise soft, inviting tones. Gin sings about not being crazy, grasping to be convincing, repeating it, only to sound even more over the deep end as her gushing, obsessive love is proclaimed for this miracle before her.
The big, bass notes cut deepest on “Stonewall Frank.” With a faster, punk influence Nelson Can incorporate their most caustic, poppy bounce with hooky chorus. It sneaks away quietly only to remerge enticingly like a gritty spin on 80s pop. You can here the tone of the band rotate as the EP plays through. From track one to six, Nelson Can transform from a Florence-inspired group to a band closer to and indie-punk flavor such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s fluid enough that the journey isn’t immediately noticeable. It’s a definite strength to steer in drastic directions with such short time frame. While the doppelganger sounds are detrimental to a degree, Nelson Can is able to turn out a diversely poppy release.