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Album of the Month : March 2000



Under Byen ( DK): " Kyst "

( Pladeselskabet/ Have a Cigar )


First time we heard of UNDER BYEN and listened to their music was early '99 with their arresting Veninde i vinden, the undisputed highlight of « Secrets # 11 : A compilation of unsigned Danish artists ». Even at this early stage of the story, it was easy to guess that this well-kept " secret " wouldn't stay one for a very long time. Actually, before the year ended, the four girls/ three guys had signed the dotted line with a record-company and released this wonderful debut album.

Hailing from Åhrus, UNDER BYEN ( pronounce "Oona Bu-Un" and translate by « Beneath the cities» ) isn't as much a regular pop band as a group of impressionist artists, people who work on textures and colors at building their own emotional soundscape rather than obedient servants of the verse/chorus cause. Gently floating over an all acoustic background of piano, violins, cellos, upright-bass and accordion, the chilling childish whisper of Henriette Sennenvaldt may sometimes recall BJÖRK at her quietest. Ultimately though, it's more the intimate, atmospheric sound of LISA GERMANO and, most notably, of STINA NORDENSTAM that comes to mind when listening to these songs (a fully assumed influence as Swedish producer MANNE VAN AHN ÒBERG who worked on STINA NORDENSTAM's "Star" is also involved in the making of this album). Underlying in this warm, hand-crafted beauty, there's something more mysterious and disturbing though, some kind of hidden Twin-Peaks-like eeriness that is perfectly conveyed by the booklet photographs : each member of the band lost alone in the forest at night.

The Black world is not far and UNDER BYEN certainly know how to get there. But with such a music, you'd follow them to the ends of the earth.


UNDER BYEN: ( official) ( excellent unofficial site approved by the band)


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