In 2013 I made a mistake. I received the Dead Stars EP, loved it – and then I didn’t do a thing about it. Since that time I’ve been waiting for the chance to redeem myself. With Little Earth I have, finally, the chance to do so.
Hailing from Denmark, Shiny Darkly are a post-punk infused trio with a rock and roll soul and an uncanny knack for a cracking tune. Little Earth is their first full length release following the above mentioned Dead Stars and 2012’s eponymous EPs.
Opening track, also called Little Earth, begins with a two-note clarion call they themselves answer with a pounding beat, a confident and strident bass, and shimmering synths. Kristoffer Bech, vocals and guitars, channels his inner David Bowie and Mick Jagger at various points; the first ‘whoop’ of the album is obviously the product of loving what he is doing.
Aided and abetted by Mads Lasse on the drums and Oliver Matthew Volz on bass, Animal Fate and Soft Skin follow, showcasing their ability to construct fresh sounding music whilst taking inspiration from the late 60’s American garage movement and late 70’s/early 80’s post-punk. Soft Skin in particular marries these two disparate sources into one hell of a stomping track.
Songs such as Eternal Chase demonstrate that creating noise isn’t all that they can do. Melodically the chorus imprints itself into your consciousness; technically, the drumming of Lassen here is superb. Where others would pound, it’s almost like he’s gently tapping them to coax beats and sounds out. Just listen to the fills in and around the chorus – utterly sublime.
As you progress through Little Earth, you move towards the moment I was waiting for – Dead Stars. Nine minutes and 37 seconds of genius. To my ears it’s a slightly different version to the one on the EP. The changes make it a more polished version more in keeping with the production of the album. It’s a stunning song that I have fallen in love with – think a darker, less New York-y Marquee Moon. Yes, I did just make that comparison.
So, to conclude – it’s an album that’ll be making ‘best of’ lists come December. Every nomination will be thoroughly deserved.
Little Earth by Shiny Darkly will be released on Crunchy Frog on the 1st of June