Iceage (Photo by Fryd Frydendahl)
Copenhagen’s Iceage — Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless, Johan Surrballe Wieth, and Dan Kjær Nielsen — announce their fifth album, Seek Shelter, out May 7 on Mexican Summer.
Today, they present a new single/video, “Vendetta,” which follows “The Holding Hand,” “an ominous transmission from a band who can summon a storm like few others” (Pitchfork).
As with all Iceage’s previous albums, Elias stowed away for a set period of weeks and wrote the lyrics for Seek Shelter in one shot. Here, his lyrics reach grand heights despite its classic opacity — he sings of taking shelter, of tranquil affections that threaten to combust, and of a limp-wristed god with a cavalcade of devotees in search of relief. His expressionist imagery consistently hinges on the divine, a natural result of his desire to take a kernel of ordinary emotion and, as he explains, “blow it up like a balloon.”
On the slow-grooving new single, “Vendetta,” an electronic beat and blues signatures break through to the front. Elias said, “Crime is the undercurrent that runs through everything. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking. In its invincible politics, it is the glue that binds it all together. ‘Vendetta’ is an impartial dance along the illicit lines of infraction.”
The accompanying video features the band, as well as actor Zlatko Burić. Director Jonas Bang explains, “We wanted it to be less 1:1 story and more short format collage-ish — like if you flick through a chapter in a book reading a bit here and there.”
Watch the official music video for “Vendetta” by Iceage on YouTube:
Enrolling Sonic Boom (Pete Kember of Spacemen 3) to produce the record and an additional guitarist in the form of Casper Morilla Fernandez, Seek Shelter sees Iceage’s propulsive momentum pushing them in new, expansive, ecstatic directions. A decade on from their first record, Iceage continue to harness their lives together through music.
Elias casts the influence of Kember, the band’s first outside producer, as that of a sparring partner, another wayward mind to bounce ideas off of (along with Shawn Everett, who mixed the record) to help shape the sound. For Seek Shelter’s story of scorched-earth salvation, Iceage’s songwriting embraces conventional structures more conspicuously than it has in the past. The dirge-like drone that opens the record gives way to a wall of reverb that sounds fuller and brighter than anything they’ve committed to tape, signalling a clarity of clouds breaking. The Lisboa Gospel Collective, who joined the band for two tracks on the final day in the studio, provide a new scale to Rønnenfelt’s incantations.