Following the release of new album ‘Where The Wild Things Are’, Swedish psychedelic pop duo Death & Vanilla took to the stage at both London’s Rough Trade and Birthdays, on Friday, for two very special shows. Previewing their stunning tapestry of 60’s tinged psych and French ye-ye pop sounds, Death and Vanilla played a kaleidoscope of laidback tracks taken from the newest release.
Formed in Sweden, Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hasson utilise vintage musical equipment to create their ambient shimmering noises. Vibraphones, organs, mellotrons and tremolo guitar’s effortlessly create a lush organic sound, combined with hushed, whispering vocals. After a handful of successful releases, including their debut EP in 2010, their self titled LP in 2012 and a beautifully designed 7” single, the band went on to compose a live soundtrack for film Vampyr, at the Lund Fantastik film festival. Freshly signed to label Fire, Death and Vanilla returned with the hauntingly experimental ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. With influences lying between 60’s sci-fi soundtracks, the retro-futuristic edge of Broadcast and the electronic sounds prototype of The United States of America, its impossible to recognise the duos captivatingly unique creation.
The intimate downstairs area of Dalston’s Birthdays, was ambiently lit, with a hustling crowd in awe at the droning hushed sounds of Death and Vanilla. Managing to capture the eyes and ears of every reveller, the experimental duo played the six-minute “Something Unknown You Need To Know” along with the machine like, surf-guitar track ‘The Hidden Reverse’. Some of the more ‘pop’ tinged tracks created a hushed buzz with the likes of the sweetly melodramatic ‘Arcana’ and the classically arranged ‘Time Travel’.
Creating a record solely on your own in a small rehearsal space, using just one microphone, which they bought at a flea market for just a tenner, may seem like some feat, but Death and Vanilla have a undoubtedly to create a sprawling soundscape of delicious tracks that are hard not to be possessed by.