“A fairground attraction of blurred lines and hazy flickering lights, with fireflies overhead, darting around the twilit sky” – that is how I’d describe my initial reaction to ‘Shere Khan‘ the latest single by Danish trio, Slaughter Beach.
It’s a light spattered, wind tossed song, which interestingly has its own real life, shadowy backstory:-
“When I made the early demo for ‘Shere Khan’ I didn’t intend to write about anyone in particular, but as the song progressed I realised that I was writing about this friend of mine … a friend who has a special kind of hold on the people he spends time with … and the effect he has on me, for better and worse.”
Don’t be fooled by the fact that trio Nikolaj Westi, Hasse Mydtskov and Mads Emil Aagaard have only been playing together in the guise of Slaughter Beach, since 2013. As individual musicians, they have a bit more mileage on the clock. Their skillful collective is a wonderfully eclectic confluence, the expert nous of which has ensured a constant evolution of sound, as evidenced with each passing release.
‘Shere Khan’ itself is quite the intoxicating meld of tropical, fantastical, victoriana, music hall and fairytale. It plays to the bands strengths, diffusing hazy harmonies through the lilt of stonewashed falsetto vocals, and by sprinkling electronic imaginings over hypnotic looping wonders, will-o-the-wisp guitar, and slacker beats.
The track is at its most captivating, when it slams a jam on the blur button thereby creating a long hazy bridge to the instrumental outro. Like Alice through her Looking Glass, we are transported into a dreamy, Madagascar-esque tropical wonderland, complete with birds of paradise that coo and trill amidst gleaming rounds of the most delightful of synth carousels.
“All around there’s people coming round for a ride in your magic car”
‘Shere Khan’ gives quite the sardonic shot across the bowels to those who have the power to bewitch, buoy up and blight in equal measure. In fact, the songs incisive lyrics are so sharp it’s in danger of cutting itself.
This is a glowing reverie filled with beguiling, superficial images. The mesmeric conceits and fairylit delights of the fairground, an hypnotic world into which we are drawn by a seeming that is never reality.
The faux glamourous backdrop of palm lined boulevards set against a fading azure dusk, in which we are swept away like Lucy Jordan, into long laughter filled nights. High on sparkling joie-de-vivre, we hang fixedly on every delusive word that drips from the insincere mouth of our ‘special friend’.
By shrouding their dark lyrical underlay with a myriad uplifting musical sequences strewn with fragments of pure genius, Slaugher Beach have managed to create the loveliest of iridescent musical allegories out of the most bittersweet of memories.
‘Shere Khan‘ by Slaughter Beach is out now via Brilliance Records & available via all digital channels. Their upcoming ‘Heroic Dose’ EP is scheduled for release on 7th October. For further info, see socials below.