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MARCHING CHURCH

Marching Church

Telling It Like It Is

    Marching Church, the onetime solo project and now bona fide big band formed by singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, has followed its leader’s muse everywhere from their early days of 4-track lo-fi tapes, to Sam Cooke-tinged soul on This World is Not Enough, to outré free jazz on their most recent Coming Down 12".

    For Telling It Like It Is, Rønnenfelt and his bandmates have foregone much of their past proclivity for wild stylistic swings in favor of thematically unified, complicated, but fundamentally cohesive song arrangements; the studio itself at times acting as an auxiliary band member. The result is the most focused vision of Marching Church yet, but one that has lost none of its swagger, and none of its power to enthrall.“We have here one world united under the sparks of one enormous disco ball hanging over us like the moon,” Rønnenfelt elaborates. “In one fleeting moment in the light of its mirrored surface we see human endurance, in the next we see doom.” The light and shade he finds in this worldview permeate the songs on Telling It Like It Is. Rønnenfelt describes the new work “an album which raises multiple flags,” and “the sound of individualism stuck in the center of the modern world, swimming with and against the current.”

    The band in 2016 comprises Rønnenfelt and his frequent collaborator and Iceage bandmate Johan S. Weith (on electric viola and guitar here), Lower‘s rhythm section of Kristian Emdal and Anton Rothstein, trumpet player Jakob Emil Lamdahl, and Hand of Dust’s Bo Høyer Hansen. Augmenting these sessions are Maaike Van der Linde and Thora Sveinsdottir of the Stargaze Orchestraon flute and strings, and Sonja La Bianca of Choir of Young Believers on saxophone. The obvious chemistry among these players makes this the most cultivated Marching Church album to date, unveiling the full spectrum of capabilities and musical dexterity of each player. Telling It Like It Is taps into a debauched lunacy that teeters equally on the verge of exhaustion, and the charged sensuality rooted in our loins that keep us going.


    TRACK LISTING

    1.Let It Come Down (3:18)
    2.Up For Days (4:10)
    3.Heart Of Life (3:44)
    4.Inner City Pigeon (5:04)
    5.Lion’s Den (4:46)
    6.Florida Breeze (5:26) (CD Only)
    7.2016 (4:02)
    8.Achilles’ Heel (4:41)
    9.Information (4:35)
    19.Calenture (5:39)

    Marching Church

    This World Is Not Enough

    Since 2010, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (Iceage, Vår) has used the Marching Church moniker to a variety of musical ends, both live and recorded. However, the project as it exists on This World Is Not Enough wasn’t born until November 2013. With a live performance looming and no real idea what the set would be, Rønnenfelt found a new vision for the band while daydreaming at a gig at the venue where Marching Church was set to perform. “What I pictured was me in a comfortable armchair, adorned in a golden robe, leading a band while a girl kept pouring me champagne when I required it,” Rønnenfelt explained. “This raised the question, ‘What sort of music would go along with this picture?’”

    Rønnenfelt discovered the answer to that question with a lineup rounded out by Kristian Emdal and Anton Rothstein of Lower, Cæcilie Trier (Choir of Young Believers), Bo H. Hansen (Hand of Dust, Sexdrome) and Frederikke Hoffmeier (Puce Mary). Under Rønnenfelt’s leadership, the group composed some music, rehearsed twice, and played their show. It was decided that night that this incarnation of Marching Church would make a record.

    This World Is Not Enough was influenced at first by obscure works like David Maranha’s experimental drone-rock saga Antarctica, and eventually by soul bandleaders like James Brown and Sam Cooke. “The whole month of writing and rehearsing and the one week we had in the studio was truly an explosion of ideas,” Rønnenfelt said. “Improvisation, something I have never worked with before, was crucial in the making of this album, considering the loose nature of the writing on some of these songs. The album works because of the band’s incredible ability of breathing life into these, at times, very simple ideas and experiments.” The eight tracks that made the final cut are, in Rønnenfelt’s words, “songs of nocturnal longing, preposterous self-obsession and cockeyed etiquette,” and they are an exemplary statement of the songwriter’s extraordinary growth since the birth of Iceage.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Living In Doubt
    2. King Of Song
    3. Hungry For Love
    4. Your Father’s Eyes
    5. Calling Out A Name
    6. Every Child (Portrait Of Wellman Braud)
    7. Up A Hill
    8. Dark End Of The Street


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