Release Date: May 5, 2015
Record label: Fire Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Indie Pop, Dream Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
Since they started releasing music in 2010, the Swedish duo of Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, better known as Death and Vanilla, have been dedicated to searching for the point where the Zombies and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop intersect, or alternately, to filling the gaping hole where Broadcast and Stereolab used to operate so magically. Like Broadcast and Stereolab, Death and Vanilla are interested in creating music that sounds both truly futuristic and at the same time rooted in the past's idea of what the future could sound like, and also like those two groups, Death and Vanilla have made some pretty great albums -- 2015's To Where the Wild Things Are being their best so far. Recorded in their rehearsal space using just one microphone, which they salvaged from a flea market, the album is warm and enveloping, with sugar-sweet melodies, enough keyboards to keep Rick Wakeman occupied, and a peaceful, pristine beauty that makes it perfect background music for any occasion that calls for quiet and calm.
Death and Vanilla want to take you back, way back… back to the future! Well, the future as seen from the swinging ‘60s at least. Just imagine John Barry’s spytastic Ipcress Files soundtrack re-engineered by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Wilson with a soupçon of “ye olde folklore” for added mystery machine. Dulcimers. Mellotrons.
Death and Vanilla hail from Sweden a place renowned for its beautiful women, long winter nights, and forests as much as it is for death metal and Abba. Much like the US state of Maine, Sweden seems to be filled with people who don’t consider isolation anti-social but a means to an end in an increasingly connected world and one, which they’re happy to shut their door on from time to time. To Where The Wild Things Are, which is due out in May, will shock and surprise even the most cynical music fans of 60’s dream pop psychedelia.
Having released a salivating breadcrumb trail of geographically-scattered limited edition vinyl and cassette releases for the likes of Kalligrammofon (Sweden), Hands In The Dark (France), The Great Pop Supplement (UK) and Moon Glyph (US), the Malmö-birthed duo of Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson (AKA Death And Vanilla) have certainly cultivated a cult-like following ripe for a bigger label to build upon, more as public service than as a straightforward pay dirt exploitation. Enter then Fire Records, as a supportive partner to guide the Swedish twosome into a wider musical world with more comprehensive distribution. The first fruits of this relationship appear with To Where The Wild Things Are, a long-player that stretches the group’s sound out further, whilst retaining extant coded enigmas and adding further levels of encryption.