Seek Shelter

Seek Shelter

Ten years after the clangorous thrills of their debut LP, New Brigade, Iceage’s apocalyptic punk has led here: a hunger for comfort, refined goth grandeur. “If the last record is us heading out into a storm and feeling content doing so, this record is situated in the storm—longing for something we didn't have,” Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt tells Apple Music. “That could be shelter.” Seek Shelter, the Copenhagen band’s fifth studio album, is the group’s most expansive. Recording across 12 days in Lisbon, Portugal, the band worked with an outside producer for the first time—Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3’s Pete Kember). (“He’s a good bullshitter,” Rønnenfelt says.) Seek Shelter maintains the tenacity of the band’s hardcore roots, elevated with lush, unexpected experimentation, neo-psych dynamism (“Shelter Song”), a bluesy sinister dance (“Vendetta”), a fiery slow-burn and thunderous crescendo (“The Holding Hand”), and a mid-song interpolation of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” (“High & Hurt”). Below, Rønnenfelt takes us inside Seek Shelter, track by track. “Shelter Song” “We thought that a gospel choir would be the exact right thing. Cut forward: We're on the last day in Lisbon. We've been bunkered up there for 12 days, collectively losing our minds, not necessarily knowing how to feel about everything we put down on tape. And having never worked with a choir before, we didn't really know if we were going to be able to speak the same language, but they instantly got it. They started flowing with the song and harmonizing and taking it in all sorts of directions. It became a very lovely collaboration.” “High & Hurt” “The melody started getting incorporated before we remembered what that hymn was. The lyrics of this song are, by nature, really quite scumbag-y, in a mythical sort of way. So it felt too tempting not to include ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken.’ The contrast between that song and the additional lyrics felt kind of wrong, but deliciously so, you know?” “Love Kills Slowly” “Before the choir came in, I thought I was singing almost pitch perfect. As soon as my voice was paired with people who can actually sing, it became very apparent how rugged and broken it still is. I've tried to make the lyrics as simple as possible, but that's the hardest thing to approach. How do you state something so obvious, but make it feel urgent and relevant and like it belongs to you? I'm somebody who has always had a tendency to make lyrics overly voluptuous. This was an exercise in stripping things down. And of course it is still a bit corrupted.” “Vendetta” “‘Vendetta’ came about from me lending my little sister's plastic toy-store keyboard. I slowed the tempo way down and started playing with it. It is interesting to pair the pounding, dancy feel of the track with speaking about the omnipresence of crime in the world and have it be this discordant dance. We are always attracted to dualities, I guess. Traveling the world and growing up in Copenhagen or anywhere, you never have to scratch the surface very hard to discover that crime is an essential glue that binds a lot of society together.” “Drink Rain” “Definitely the most bizarre thing we ever been involved with writing. This was one of those moments where your hands just start writing, and then you take a look at a paper and you're like, 'What is this thing that I just wrote?' It's this perverse creep that lurks around drinking from puddles of rain in the streets, because he has some delusion that it might bring him closer to some kind of love interest. In the studio, when we first listened back to the first take of it, we were like, 'I'm not sure if we should be doing this.' It feels like a transgression.” “Gold City” “It’s a ballad that speaks to how moments can be determined by a lot of factors culminating together: the weather, the air, your company, the levels of chemicals in your brain. Everything rumbles together.” “Dear Saint Cecilia” “It's a bit drunken and raving, and I wouldn't say uplifting. It's carefree, but also moving within chaos and trying to evoke the Catholic patron saint. It’s just a very carefree song that charges through the chaos of a modern society.” “The Wider Powder Blue” “It started out with one of my old heroes, Peter Schneidermann, who played in Denmark's first punk band, Sods. He recorded our first EP when we were 16, and he has always been a hero of mine. He asked me to write a song. I started out with what became this and I became too attached to it. I couldn't give it to him. That song is an ode to him and how his insane genius is quite morbid, but ultimately a glorious thing.” “The Holding Hand” “I can't remember the name in English for the instrument, but we had…like a xylophone, tubes of aluminum, or some kind of metal. The song is quite an abstract one, like a landscape scene in itself. It's more about describing a feeling of being in the world than describing the actual world. It plays with notions of power, how strength is sometimes weakness and how weakness is sometimes strength. It has this lost beauty in all that.”

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