When Saints Go Machine triggers some pretty impressive comparisons. Music journalists and bloggers the world over seem to reach for their luminary Rolodex when trying to describe the Danish synth-pop outfit’s sound. Among the artists referenced: Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, David Byrne, Caribou and the Knife. Got your attention?
Vocalist Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild, drummer Silas Moldenhawer, and keyboardists Jonas Kenton and Simon Muschinsky grew up in the same neighborhood in Copenhagen but weren’t really chums until they started making music together in 2007. Their first two efforts—a self-titled EP and a full-length, When Ten Makes a Face—fell on Scandinavian ears only; the band didn’t receive its first worldwide release until signing with German imprint !K7 in 2010. That album, Konkylie, was an instant hit, sparking international critical acclaim and climbing to No. 2 on the Danish charts. Considering that When Ten Makes a Face peaked at No. 34, WSGM certainly appeared to be hitting its stride.
Building on the momentum of Konkylie, the quartet hit the road, working on its third album in between tour dates. Infinity Pool surfaced last month, displaying a new, stripped-back approach and boasting an unexpected guest spot by hard-hitting Atlanta rapper Killer Mike. If this album is any indication, it seems that WSGM would rather push boundaries than mechanically replicate past successes. Saints may go machine, but these guys appear to be aiming for something a bit more dynamic.—Kristen Zwicker