The World Is Thirsty For Danish Pop
Danish synth-embracing alt-pop bands named after Americans who gain wealth and fame from terrible acts might be a dime a dozen, but something tells me Oliver North Boy Choir might be special. I'm not sure that it's someone from the band telling me, because they talk about themselves like this: "Mikkel played the guitar and as Ivan couldn't play anything he became the singer."
I'm collectively ascribing this wit to Mikkel [Max Hansen] (vocals, and the vaguely-descriptive "instruments"), his high school friend Ivan [Petersen] (ditto), and Ivan's wife Camilla Florentz (vocals). Their wit is endearing, as is their explanation of their name:
"Because we thought that the face of one of the ugliest, dirtiest and filthiest affairs in American foreign policy through the years (Oliver North) ought to have a choir to his appraisal, a.k.a. us.
The Iran-Contra scandal involved the US supporting the Iranians (while also supporting the Iraqis) in their mutual war, supporting the Contras in Nicaragua to overthrow the democratically elected government AND financing the whole charade with a deadly mix of guns and drugs. Much like us. We just make an equally deadly cocktail of pop and indie and support both Kylie and Dat Politics."
It's good that they're not that self-effacing. A dollop of confidence is helpful in the music business (if they can keep it to sub-Oasis levels, it would be helpful in life.) The bit of confidence may be especially helpful because they've chosen a slightly unconventional strategy for pop success.
Oliver North Boy Choir is bypassing albums, instead releasing download-only singles and EPs (their EP Shell for the mourning will be released May 27). It may be a risky approach, even in our modern age with its new-fangled MP3 players, microwave ovens, ice-dispensing refrigerators, and other techno-gadgetry snapped up by those who embrace change for the sake of it (not that I judge).
It might be a clever strategy, though. If they can produce songs quickly ("phase 1"), and, well, create sufficient demand for them, they're in like Flynn.
They've already sussed out that people love supermarket videos and responded with one of their own, for the blippy (naturally) single "Adrenaline":
Hansen is also in epo-555, and he's less mysterious about his role with them - he's credited with vocals, guitar, bass, and electronics. Florentz is either a current or former member, depending on whose website you believe. She's credited with vocals, synth, and... melodica. A-ha, maybe that's the "something" that makes ye ol' Boy Choir special.
And wow, are all epo-555's songs as good as the fuzzy bliss-pop of "Dakota"? They've released a couple albums; streaming audio of songs is available at their website and they have a few videos at YouTube including the comic-strip video for "Dakota":
Correction: Camilla Florentz is married to Mikkel Max Hansen. She is not also married to Ivan Petersen, which is probably a very good thing for band harmony (in both senses of the word). More on epo-555, whose second album, Mafia, has just been released in the United States, to come...