ÅRABROT recently finished recording their most astounding piece of true Norwegian art rock to date with Who Do You Love set for release later this year via Pelagic Records. As a tastemaker for the followup to 2016’s critically acclaimed The Gospel album, the band is unleashing two tracks from the forthcoming full-length as an exclusive Record Store Day 12″ on April 21st titled Sinnerman.
Decibel Magazine is streaming the title track, a traditional African American spiritual that’s been performed by Nina Simone, among others.
Relays band leader Kjetil Nernes of the track, “Old blues, the minstrels in dirty suits, the chain gang choirs, the gospels, the deep roots of folk, and country music channeled through generations of blood and sweat, the love and hate of biblical proportions. This is all such a pivotal part of the greatest art. That being literature, music, or even film. I watched the Nina Simone documentary one night and was deeply moved by her version of ‘Sinnerman.’ A few days later I tried a different take of the song in our studio and it had a nerve I quite enjoyed. We tried it again some time later and that particular vibe was still there. I had no plan for the song at all, no idea if it actually was good or not. I wasn’t even sure it would be included on the album. Boy was I wrong.”
Hear “Sinnerman” at Decibel Magazine at THIS LOCATION.
And check out the first ÅRABROT vlog discussing “Sinnerman” at THIS LOCATION.
Simmerman Track Listing:
Side A: Sinnerman
Side B: Stampede Nihil
ÅRABROT‘s sonic spectrum has always been a wide and wild field of purposeful mismatches, a world of friction between the noisy, the disharmonic, the tension, and rivalling moments of harmonic relief. But there is more than noise rock to ÅRABROT‘s formula. There is a, “dark, velveteen grace which feels derived from both pop and cabaret songwriting (The Quietus).”
“I’m interested in feelings, either the very silent or the extremely noisy,” Nernes comments. “I don’t care about what’s in between, the middle of the road isn’t my thing. The bible fits really well with that. I’m using it thematically all the time.”
It comes as no surprise that the singer and guitar player has established himself in a former church in the woods of Dalarna in rural Sweden, where he lives with his wife, piano player, and singer Karin Park, and where his band now rehearses and records, surrounded by pianos, organs, and hundreds of old bibles that the church left behind when the congregation stopped. The clerical environment has proven to be an excellent creative tapestry for a band whose lyrical focus orbits around sex, death, and defiance.
Nernes has made his own firsthand experience with the topics he sings about. He was diagnosed with malignant throat cancer in 2014, in the middle of a tour. Instead of heading in for surgery right away, the band finished a full European tour first. “Every night of that tour was like the last show ever,” Nernes recalls. “It was really strange. When a doctor calls and says, “you’re terribly sick,” it’s surreal. You go into this phase where life is more vivid and more real, in a weird way. We’ve done so many shows through the years and sometimes it’s a little like going to the factory to do a job. But with an axe hanging over your head you perceive the world differently.”
After successfully recovering from cancer, ÅRABROT are now stronger than ever. The band has collaborated with procuders like Billy Anderson and Steve Albini, and musicians like Ted Parsons (Killing Joke, Swans), Sunn O))))’s Stephen O’Malley, and Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik. They’ve composed music for silent movies like Die Niebelungen and Doctor Caligari, and have teamed up with The Quietus-founder John Doran on his spoken word tour. The previous full-length album The Gospel, was named “Album Of The Year” in The Quietus. Get yourself ready to face the big question, to be dropped in September: Who Do You Love?
For fans of: Swans, Unsane, The Melvins, Death In June, Captain Beefheart, Killing Joke etc.
“…a vivid, unsettling mix of art-rock, metallic noise, piano-flecked post-punk epics, blood, sex, and death.” — Noisey