It’s been a fast year for the identity-confused Tokyo Denmark Sweden. Only forming in 2011, the group have swiftly acquired an internet presence, particularly within the blogosphere, and more recently featuring on commercial radio.
Most acts aren’t prepared to release an EP in their first year, but Tokyo Denmark Sweden are out to prove to the indie-dance world that they aren’t like most acts.
Opening with powerhouse track When It Breaks, we’re immediately served on a platter all of what this band are about – no holds barred beats and synths that force you to get up and dance. The flowing vocal harmonies meld with the beats and synthesisers to craft a wonderful atmosphere as the track comes to a close.
Soaring vocals are the keystone again in Lights Off, which is set to fill indie clubs everywhere. The track is built around the best way to keep the momentum high, whereas Paper Sails does the complete opposite. It’s downtempo synth-pop that demonstrates depth of sound within this young band.
The energy slowly builds again in Comets as the band get comfortable with their sound. The EP closes with crowd favorite Little Quarters, which continues to bring out synth hook after hook, working each track to its utmost.
The group aren’t afraid of getting into a groove in this EP and letting the inherent atmosphere of their music take them where it will. If one thing is certain, Tokyo Denmark Sweden’s self-titled EP is shamelessly free.
However, at times the record can feel a little mundane. Songs are structured very similarly across the EP with loud verses and choruses until they break for one very stripped-back rendition of the verse. Rinse and repeat. The only track that defies this formula is the delightfully dark Paper Sails, which is a stand-out track along with When it Breaks.
You can’t really expect much more out of a band who’ve only been together a year, however, so in time I expect that things will lift.
In a time when Australia is experiencing unprecedented growth in its indie music scene, dance acts with an engrossing live show to back them up are few and far between. Rufus and World’s End Press have a new rival within the electronic dance scene as Tokyo Denmark Sweden’s performances are being praised nationally.
Watch out for these guys: in a few years time they’ll be taking over our clubs.