We’re pleased to bring you the premiere of Årabrot’s new album Who Do You Love (listen below), which is scheduled to be officially released on September 7th through Pelagic Records. You can purchase the album here.
The Norwegian Grammy award winning band carry all the hallmarks of a sonic spectrum that has always been a wide and wild field of purposeful mismatches, a world of friction between the noisy, the disharmony, and the tension, with rivaling moments of harmonic relief.
But there is more than noise rock to Årabrot’s formula, “I’m interested in feelings, either the very silent or the extremely noisy,” band leader Kjetil Nernes comments. “I don’t care about what’s in between, the middle of the road isn’t my thing. The bible fits really well with that. I’m using it thematically all of the time.”
It comes as no surprise that the singer and guitar player has established himself in a former church in the woods of Dalarna in rural Sweden, where he lives with his wife, piano player, and singer Karin Park, and where his band now rehearses and records, surrounded by pianos, organs, and hundreds of old bibles that the church left behind when the congregation stopped. The clerical environment has proven to be an excellent creative tapestry for a band whose lyrical focus orbits around sex, death, and defiance.
Nernes has made his own firsthand experience with the topics he sings about. He was diagnosed with malignant throat cancer in 2014, in the middle of a tour. Instead of heading in for surgery right away, the band finished a full European tour first, “Every night of that tour was like the last show ever,” Nernes comments, “It was really strange. When a doctor calls and says, ‘you’re terribly sick,’ it’s surreal. You go into this phase where life is more vivid and more real, in a weird way. We’ve done so many shows through the years and sometimes it’s a little like going to the factory to do a job. But with an axe hanging over your head you perceive the world differently.”
After successfully recovering from cancer, Nernes andÅrabrot are now stronger than ever. The band has collaborated with procuders like Billy Anderson and Steve Albini, and musicians like Ted Parsons (Killing Joke, Swans), Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, and Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik. They have composed music for silent movies like Die Niebelungen and Doctor Caligari, and have teamed up with The Quietus founder John Doran on his spoken word tour. Their previous full-length album The Gospel, was also named Album of the Year by The Quietus. And now comes the the big question this September: Who Do You Love? For fans of:Swans, Unsane, The Melvins, Death In June, Captain Beefheart, and Killing Joke.
Top photo by Thomas Knight