Vår - No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers

An album that’s endearing and inspiring, even if its genesis was the complete contrary.

Label: Sacred Bones

Rating: 7

Look, Vår is kind of pretentious. It’s four young men from Denmark who make art about their own anxiety, loneliness, loves, and torment. Maybe they’re chirpy dudes when they’re downing Carlsberg, but their art (which splinters into plenty of creative back alleys) isn’t. Their debut record is much like the singles that proceeded it: nine songs and 31 minutes of densely atmospheric, thumping electronic music. If you hang out in industrial estates, this is your soundtrack.

Every song on the album is pretty minimalistic. The vocals are deep and bruising. It’s desolate. There’s usually an elementarily obvious electronic drum pad and then it’s fleshed out with some World War-soundtracking drums, chiming and polished half-way-to-the-Orient synth work. 

‘The World Fell’ is the standout. It’s almost an ode to the nonexistent Joy Division and New Order meeting point. It bleeps as much as it pounds, and somehow, has an ounce and a half of romance. ‘Motionless Duties’ and ‘Hair Like Feathers,’ though, are poor sounding ideas that stretch into nothing. They pick up with the half, unveiling their harshest, most ‘them’ sound. ‘Into Distance’ is the least electronic thing on the LP, with trumpets joining the the thud and guitar work. Like the last level on Medal Of Honor, it builds and envelopes and keeps yelling ‘this is urgency’ (as if Elias’s vocals didn’t already). By the next song it’s over, with ‘Katla’ closing out it out. It’s grim: the icy landscape over the iron works. It was always going to end like this.

Vår is four young men passionate about their art. They’ve crafted an album that’s endearing and inspiring, even if its genesis was the complete contrary. These are songs made from heart and built by talent. Just like opening the loud, heavy doors to that industrial building, looking inside Vår is dark, cold, and lonely: and if you haven’t cut your hand on the steel, inside is an atmosphere quite unlike much else.