This The Migrant article was written by Adam Stevenson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Lorna Gray
The Migrant is the psychedelic fever trip brain child of Bjarke Bendtsen, a Danish singer songwriter from Copenhagen, Denmark. The band’s latest release, ‘Flood,’ feels like an acid-laced cocktail of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke’s pleading whines, Elliot Smith’s heartbreakingly soulful lyrics, and the more melancholic tracks such as ‘Green Arrow’ by Yo La Tengo – are stirred in with a sprinkling of The Verve around the rim of the glass instead of salt.
The opening track, ‘Climbers.’ eases you in with a slowed down introductory drum roll, before the lightly plucked guitar and Bendsten’s soft echoing voice filters in. It’s an influx of the delicate that teeters on the sad side of Anton Newcombe’s brand of depressive lyrical format.
‘Belly of a Man,’ the first of the more rock-influenced tracks, is arguably one of the best album tracks you’ll listen to this year. The slicing guitar with its reverberating edge feels like it could have been lifted straight out of a late sixties classic – while the Thom Yorke styled vocals spout daydreamesque lyrics such as “Some say courage, some say greed, call it all progress and you forget what you need”, putting it on another plain from the “My baby left me high and dry” fillers being pushed in the charts. It’s one of best examples of how a superb production team can convey something that seems so well oiled and mechanical and yet so naturally fluid at the same time.
The closer on this outstanding album comes in the form of an old, haunted ballad. Perhaps to say saving the best to last is a bit cliché in the music world, but the placement of this simplistic yet creepily unnerving track is a piece of genius. It’s uncomplicated and coarse, striking similarities with early Woody Guthrie, and yet projects itself like a rough character in a classic Western entering his final show down.
This is one of the only albums you’ll find that has a completely different feel entirely depending on where and how you listen to it. Curl up indoors in the dark for a slow-burning tragic tale of life’s struggles – or plug in and stroll along to as it transports you through the world of psychedelia. ‘Flood’ is different and unique in its kind; as it’s more than just an album…it’s just shy of art.