iceage

“I’ve always had a sense that I was split in two,” Elias Rønnenfelt declares at the opening of ‘Forever’, foregoing his now-characteristic off-kilter bark for a measured sing-speak. It’s a fitting lyric, at least insofar as Iceage’s third album embodies such a dualism. For, if early records ‘New Brigade’ and ‘You’re Nothing’ embraced the total dissolution of the self in an ecstatic assault of noise, then ‘Plowing into the Field of Love’ finds the group’s utopian/dystopian drive constrained by the imposition structure, arrangement and pastiched genre.

Horns and strings play ornament to Rønnenfelt’s anguish, warped bar-room piano adrift amidst airless guitar dischord. But the Copenhagen post-punks have hardly gone all Grizzly Bear on us; ‘Plowing into the Field of Love’ has no pretentions to elevate – whatever that would mean – their form with such elaborations. It’s more that the punk’s dream of an anarchic loss of ego remains just that – an ideal to be strived for but ultimately, and tragically, unattainable.

And therein lies the beauty of Iceage’s newly formed approach: this is music split in two, at war with itself, poignantly acknowledging – but by no means resigned to – its inevitable failure. After a few years of providing an exhilarating escapism, Iceage’s bold, knotted music has finally found something to fight against.

Read our new interview (October 2014) with Iceage here.

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