Having formed in 2008 during their teenage years, Iceage have been drunk on a sense of youthful energy that’s key to creating truly visceral punk music. But despite their roughness, the Danish band’s sound has blossomed.
Their fourth LP Beyondless is both unhinged and anthemic, featuring flourishes of strings and brass and a literary quality to Elias Rønnenfelt’s rugged romanticism. Here, Rønnenfelt – who also has played in the bands Marching Church, Vår and Pagan Youth – discusses some of the music that has touched his heart.
The first and last record that shocked me
There were a few things that shocked me when I was a kid. I remember the feeling of being able to be afraid of music; when sound would get to you in a way which would make you feel physical unease. The Andy Warhol song [RCA, 1972] on David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, I remember being terrified of that. And later in life, I was sitting in a dark tour van at night and everyone was asleep besides me and the driver. I’d eaten some surprisingly strong edibles and I tried listening to The Drift by Scott Walker [4AD, 2006] for the first time ever. I had an amazingly terrifying experience.
A record which gives me the bittersweet feeling of nostalgia
I can’t think of an [album], but individual tracks: Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac [Warner Bros., 1982], You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory by Johnny Thunders [Real Records ARE3, 1978], The Orchids by Psychic TV [Some Bizzare, 1983] have always been really crushing songs for me. They’re songs that are sort of between something tragic but hopefulness, and that tell you that it’s OK to stare the melancholy directly in the eye and confront those feelings.
A record which has helped me through a hard time
Music is not always great in hard times, but usually there’s a period of getting through a hard time when music can speak to you more directly than anything else. Arthur Russell’s Another Thought [Point Music, 1994], that has some great healing qualities I think.
A record that reminds me of a city I love dearly
Scott Walker’s Scott 3 [Philips / Fontana, 1969] – there’s a song on it called Copenhagen of course – but the feeling of that whole record always reminds me of dawn in Copenhagen. I remember listening to it with a friend and looking out the window as the sun was rising.
Beyondless is released 4 May via Matador