The third album from Danish duo JØRCK is, by all admissions, their best yet. Black Sun is a moody, dreamy soundscape that routinely defies categorization. In fact, JØRCK seem to have some trouble defining it themselves. “Dream-pop,” singer and songwriter Trine Jørck says, shrugging. “Maybe you could say alternative pop…rock?” guitarist and producer Torben Guldager shoots back. “Um, indie?” I suggest with zero conviction. We move on.
The truth is that JØRCK has produced all those things and more. The album is atmospheric, almost cinematic in nature. “For the sound, we were inspired by trip hop like Massive Attack and Portishead.” Torben explains. But the content is something else entirely.
Trine, who writes all the lyrics, references art and poetry; a callback to her degree in Art & Aesthetics. “That’s why we’ve also been excited about making music videos,” she says. “We don’t want to just create the sound – it’s the whole experience. Almost a filmscape.”
That’s very ambitious, but JØRCK has taken their time getting to this point. The pair (who are also dating and live together) met in Aarhus in 2010. “One day she picked up a guitar and started singing. I was blown away. I thought, I have to work with her!” Torben says.
Trine left for six months in NYC, where she wrote a number of songs. Upon returning to Denmark, Torben produced her first album, Sustainable Dream. Their second, Dancing on Gold, was more collaborative. “We’ve worked up to this point,” Torben explains, “Black Sun is really 50% Trine and 50% me.”
So what does a half & half effort look like from these two? Torben is clear on his influences – Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin – as 1970s hard rock, with a little Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in the mix. With Trine, it’s a mix of her artistic references and a wide swath of musical and film input. They both understand completely where the other is coming from, which makes their collaboration an easy mental leap for both.
Black Sun has been a two year process, recording in five different studios around Denmark with multiple producers, as well as acoustic and synth home recordings. “We had a vocal producer. Having these different kinds of producers was great because they heard things that we may not have.” Trine says. Torben agrees, adding, “I’m usually very involved in all of the production, so letting go was hard. But when I saw the outcome, it was so worth it.”
The two are nearly starry-eyed talking about the album. It’s clear that it’s very close to their hearts. “I’m so proud of it,” Trine tells me, “As a musician, sometimes you have to throw yourself in deep water to make something new. The whole album was a frustrating adventure at times, but I really feel like we’ve made something new.”
For all the hardwork, Black Sun hasn’t had the reception JØRCK hoped for. “The reviews we’ve had have been great,” Torben explains, “there just haven’t been as many as we wanted. I think because we’re kind of hard to label, we sing in English and don’t really have a Danish sound, it puts us in a strange place. Our appeal is perhaps more international; but how do you get there from Denmark?”
It’s a fair question and one that many young Danish artists are asking themselves. Step one is to get the word out there (hello, that’s what you’re reading now) and get people to listen to your music. With that in mind, here’s Black Sun‘s latest single, “You Let the Looseness In:”
Now that we have your attention, check out the rest of Black Sun here:
See JØRCK live:
Sat, 16th April: Nordic Night at Loppen (Copenhagen)
Sun, 1st May: Home Concert with Jacob Bellens (Copenhagen)
Sun, 22nd May: Cherie Sundays (Berlin)
Sat, 28th May: Odense Havne Kulturfestival, Support for Savage Rose (Odense)
Like what you hear? Purchase Black Sun on iTunes or vinyl (contact jorckbooking [at] gmail [dot] com) and support independent Danish music!