Every month we bring you an new artist that we think shows great potential for the future and is worth checking out now.
OUR BROKEN GARDEN
Denmark isn't renowned for its ability to export its music and very few Danish artists have managed to make an impact here in the UK with the exception of a few such as the Raveonettes and the Kissaway Trail. In that respect Our Broken Garden are breaking new ground and look set to establish themselves at the forefront of European ambient pop music.
The band consist of three people, vocalist and songwriter Anna Bronsted, Søren Bigum (guitar / keyboards) and Moogie Johnson (bass). In the UK the band signed to Bella Union, the label run by ex-Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie. Following the release of their "Lost Sailor" EP earlier this year the band have recently released their highly acclaimed debut album "When Your Blackening Shows".
The band was formed in 2006 when lead singer Anna found 'a hidden paradise' amongst the hills, forests, and lakes in Denmark. There she moved into an old abandoned village school, and it was here that she began to write the songs for Our Broken Garden's debut album, songs which she believes 'document the subconscious side of human nature, songs which explored darkness and light'. Moogie Johnson and Søren Bigum soon joined, and the trio then began producing the album. Amongst the other musicians who took part in the recording sessions for the album were Poul Terkildsen on drums, piano virtuoso Palle Hjort, songwriter and songbird housemate Lise Westzynthius, and Robert Karlsson on strings.
After the 6 months it took to record the album, lead singer Anna met 2 sailors through a friend and embarked on a 6 month boat trip across the Atlantic without knowing what it would be like to be in the open sea on a 31ft sailboat. It was at this point that Anna began to think that her subconscious had perhaps played a trick on her. The lyrics she had written a year ago were immersed in powerful water symbols, and now she had thrown herself out to the open sea to travel 7000 kilometres. When the boat arrived in Rio de Janeiro two months later the album had been mixed and was complete.
We recently caught up with Anna and asked her about her epic journey and what inspires the music of Our Broken Garden:
What was the best and worst experience of your Atlantic sea journey last year?,
I think maybe the best and worst experience was the same. We were caught in a storm the last week of the journey, and I was really scared, the waves were about 7-8 meters high and every time one of these big waves were approaching I thought the boat would keel over - but at the same time it was like meeting something very pure inside yourself because of the extreme situation. You can't escape, though you're scared, so you just have to be there and keep working, and I think that is what made it the best part too.
Who would you say are your greatest musical influences and why?
I've been deeply touched by artists like nick drake, arvo pärt, stina nordenstam, kate bush, cocteau twins, monica zetterlund and a lot of other old jazz records. I think these artist all have a certain feel in common, which is something about expressing a melancholy.. along with a strength.. and that feel somehow draws me..
In your experience, how does the music scene in Denmark differ to that of the UK's?
.... one thing is that we are very lucky in Denmark because we have a very well working culture support from the Government which makes it possible to create without having to work your ass of at the same time plus the venues are supported which makes them able to book good bands from abroad - but this is also what sometimes makes us a bit spoiled maybe.. we're not used to fight nearly as much as British or Americans - but I'm not sure which of these conditions makes the best art..
Playing a live gig with Our Broken Garden is like.......?,
... floating away on wings into an inner world existing between darkness and light.. :-) ... or something like that.
The music of Our Broken Garden is extremely evocative with rich textures and hidden depths. On first hearing it can seem slow and ponderous and even slightly soporific. However, repeated listening reveals rich melodies and imagery that captivates and enthralls.
Our Broken Garden have embarked on a journey that is likely to be just as epic and rewarding as Anna's Atlantic sea journey last year.
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OUR BROKEN GARDEN