Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
On Copenhagen resident Søren Løkke Juul's one-man band Indians' debut Somewhere Else, the swirling synth miasmas and acoustic accouterments have an unbreakable hypnotic question. The way Juul lilts his voice up and down on "I Am Haunted" and the manner in which he lets his guitar and keyboard beds overwhelm his otherworldly vocals on "Cakelakers" suggest he's channeling his songs from some other dimension. The way he tells it, he sort of is. While he cites human interaction, nature and the sound of his keyboards as inspirations when Hive asks him to list his five biggest influences, he has a wonder in his voice that suggests that maybe he just processes these normal things a little differently. Below, Juul, who has a heavy Danish accent, attempts to explain what it all means.
1. Everyday Life
"The things that inspire me most are things that are happening real life, real emotions, stories," Juul says. "All the songs are about real situations. For example, the last song on the record is called 'Somewhere Else,' and it's about my experience of being in New York for the first time this past April. It was just a mind-blowing experience. There's a lot of people and there's a lot of traffic, but it doesn't seem chaotic. People are not stressed. People are so happy and friendly. And then there's just the smell of the food. I never imagined a simple store would have the best sandwiches I ever had, and it was cheap. I was there for 10 days, and I was sad when I had to go back to Denmark. The song is what I felt when I took off and could see New York disappear."
2. Juul's Family
"I was brought up in a musical family," the musician says. "My mom played piano and my dad played in a '60s rock band. He had a lot of instruments in the house. He has a huge record collection; I think he has about 60,000 CDs. I enjoyed listening to the music and playing along on an electric guitar in my room. I just turned the volume up and acting like rock and roll in my room."
3. Pink Floyd
"The first time I heard Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, I was amazed," Juul says. "The first time I heard that record, I couldn't imagine music could be like that. Because I liked pop music, but it was also psychedelic. And I liked the timing of the music. Whenever I put it on now, I listen to the album in its entirety."
4. Nordic Climes
"When people listen, they say it's really Scandinavian sounding," the singer says. "You are maybe not aware of it all the time, but you are influenced by how the weather is. Being in Denmark, right now it's half past 3 now, and it's almost like night. There's a reason the Beach Boys sounds like the Beach Boys; because they're in California and they're around the sea and are surfers all the time. Here in Denmark, it's cold outside, and you just make yourself comfortable in the studio. I guess there's a reason why it's kind of mellow and not sunny and surfy."
5. The Sounds of Juul's Keyboards
"Usually when I do a song, I just hook up a keyboard and I produce the sound before I start playing anything," he says. "And then the sound and the effects are inspirations to start playing around. The song 'Lips, Lips, Lips' came from playing the descending line in the song on my keyboard. I have one old keyboard, a Nord Lead, that I use on almost every song, and it has an electronic bell sound. I think I used that on every track. I only use one sound from that synthesizer and I always go back to using it. All my keyboards are girls; I treat my equipment well."
Indians' Somewhere Else is out now on 4AD. Watch the video for "I Am Haunted" below: