Danish Dream-pop Debut
Scandanavia is currently experiencing a bit of a musical Golden Age, and one label at the helm of the golden chariot has been Denmark-based Hybris Records, responsible for launching the careers of acts like artists like El Perro Del Mar, Korallreven, Jonathan Johansson and more. Recently, Hybris announced the formation of its first ever sub-label IkarosRec, a female-focused organization operating out of Copenhagen and run by Charlotte Ahlström, dedicated to finding “the best yet undiscovered talent from Scandinavia.” Lisa Alma’s eponymous debut is the celebrated first release from IkarosRec. Guided by the powerful single “Tuesday,” it has already made an impact worthy of being added to the roster of American dream-pop label Minty Fresh. Alma is in good hands. In the late nineties, Chicago-based Minty Fresh (Liz Phair, Veruca Salt) brought Swedish band The Cardigans to the world-wide charts with their hit “Lovefool,” and the label continues to provide an American home for other Northern European bands looking to break onto the scene in the States.
Lisa Alma has a master’s degree in Theatre and Performance Studies and works in the fields of performance art, photography and music. Alma has four image-driven art-film style videos, one of which she made herself. But even without the visual content, her songs are vivid, symbolic and thought-provoking. With a base of dreamy electronic rhythms and eighties-inspired synths, Alma’s confidently emotional vocals soar above the mix. The lyrics are poetic and image-driven. “We have a little, we cry a little / inside we realize, it’s our time,” she sings. Tracks like “Spaced Out” and “Outbalance” are poignant stand-outs with strong retro motifs reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor’s breakthrough record I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.
The last song on the record is an equally intriguing remix of “Outbalance” by DJ and producer SHAARUP, who skillfully maintains the focus on Alma’s lush voice while creatively re-interpreting the song’s structure. Fans of dream-pop and electronica will fall in love with Alma’s cool confidence and siren songs. And Minty Fresh is not the only label primed to turn some attention on the blossoming Scandinavian alt-rock post-pop scene. Prepare for the Danish invasion.