An album of claustrophobic clanking to savour in the dark
Before you listen to the debut by Gothenburg’s Hannes Norrvide, you need to be in the right headspace. ‘Growing Seeds’ isn’t an album for a bus ride. Without your full attention it’ll sound like bits of old machinery making out. Instead, take it to a dark and smoke-filled room. Invite some models dressed entirely in black with outrageous cheekbones to pout nearby. Lounge on leather pillows. Try a little light bondage. Because even though Lust For Youth is a much more dance-orientated project than most of the stuff on New York label Sacred Bones (the pig-fuck rock of The Men, the goth-opera of Zola Jesus), it still lives in the gloom.
Opening track ‘Behind Curtains’ is all sad and battered synths, and ‘It’s You’ pulses like a lost Primal Scream track with its breathy stalker call of “It’s you/It’s always been you”. Instrumentals ‘Planted A Seed’ and ‘La Rouge’ buzz and hum, and throughout the album there’s an ominous churn that sounds like a heartbroken machine. No prizes for guessing that Hannes wrote the record when he’d fallen out of love. The half-shouts on ‘We Got Lust’, meanwhile, are similar to those of Norrvide’s friend and collaborator Loke Rahbek, who yelps in the band Vår and leads the Danish scene that spawned Iceage and operates around the record label Posh Isolation.
The album’s final track ‘Neon Lights Appear’ is straight from that scene, and generates the sensation of leaving an underground club and staring shell-shocked at a blur of taxis speeding past because you’ve been in the dark too long. And then it ends. As an introduction to the dark sounds coming out of Scandinavia right now there’s nothing better.