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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Serena-Maneesh April 24, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

I referenced these guys a couple of years back in a long post on shoegaze... ah, those were the days.

Anyhow, here they are again. From Oslo, Norway (as distinct from all those other Oslo’s) they’re almost a collective, with a shifting membership. Their last album was released in 2005 so it’s fair to say they’re not the most productive crew in the world. But this is worth the wait.

There’s a refreshing, or perhaps inevitable, eclecticism to their sound. Perhaps a function of main man Emil Nikolaisen’s penchant for a career that has seen him in bands positioned in genres as diverse as metal, retro-pop, punk and indie. Somehow the sum of those influences made their last album almost glam inflected on a range of tracks.

Their latest album was released last month and is entitled Serena-Maneesh 2: Abyss in B Minor. And they’ve signed up to 4AD. It’s hardly a massive change in direction, or maybe it is, but it’s very much an album that fits into a 4AD style. There’s less of the clearly melodic songs that characterized Serena Maneesh (it appears they’ve been through a name change too), and instead there’s a sort of shift, a key change if you will, to something not dissimilar to My Bloody Valentine during the Loveless era. If that suggests that it’s simply a rip, then it’s not. Not at all. Someone I know listening to it suggested that the track Ayisha Abyss (a live version is below) sounds a bit like someone introduced them to Soft Machine, say around Third. And there’s something of that, if that is that Soft Machine had been dealing in sheets of noise. I guess one could say that there’s a new seriousness to the music, with the pop sensibility somewhat sidelined. Not that it is simply bereft of melodic songs. I Want to See Your Face is presumably oriented towards the singles market, assuming such a thing exists in any meaningful form any longer.

It’s good to see them back, good to see them on 4AD and good to see them still pushing the envelope just a little bit.


I Just Want To See Your Face

Ayisha Abyss [live]


Blow Yr Brains in The Morning Rain

And here, older singles, some referenced in that previous post… starting with the entirely brilliant…

Drive Me Home The Lonely Nights

Sapphire Eyes

Drain Cosmetics


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