One of the clichés about Scandinavian countries is that they are neat and tidy, well ordered, clean. The same could not be said of Copenhagen four-piece When Saints Go Machine’s second full-length album, Infinity Pool. The opposite, in fact. It’s a record born out of an atmosphere of chaos, Which is not to say that the result is disjointed. It’s harder, darker and more synthetic than its predecessors. It opens with “Love And Respect,” which features a guest vocal from Killer Mike, who freewheels over a chugging, synth-drenched beat. Elsewhere, “Dead Boy” sees frontman Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild’s tremulous falsetto digitized and then floated over a semi-ambient soundscape, while “Infinity Killer” pitches skittering sound effects against a low-end drone.
Infinity Pool is more unapologetically electronic than anything the band have done before. On their debut album, Konkylie, they tried to make machines simulate nature, whereas on Infinity Pool, When Saints Go Machine are trying to capture a feeling of the absurdity of mankind trying to construct nature. Most of their productions consist of several layers in each song. With Konkylie, each of those layers almost fought to get the most attention, whereas, on Infinity Pool, they tried to make many of the layers sound immediate and simple. This album is slower and harder, yet it still has that signature When Saints Go Machine longing feeling, the glue that holds the album together.
Vonslid says the band felt nervous about the direction they took on Infinity Pool, unease that they were operating outside their comfort zone. “But,” he adds, “that’s a good thing. Whenever you feel a bit scared about putting something out, that’s how you should feel as an artist.”
When Saints Go Machine’s Infinity Pool is out May 28th on !K7. Watch the video for Infinity Pool’s’ first single, “Love and Respect,” below. It’s directed by Frederik Hviid and Sebastian Birk who describe it as “set in a dystopian future, the one remaining revolutionary keeps the last hope of the world in the trunk of his car, while the totalitarian authorities desperately want it back.”
WATCH WHEN SAINTS GO MACHINE’S “LOVE AND RESPECT” FEAT. KILLER MIKE VIDEO
Infinity Pool tracklisting:
01. Love and Respect feat. Killer Mike
02. Infinity Killer
04. Yard Heads
05. System of Unlimited Love
06. Mental Shopping Spree
12. Slave to the Take in your Heaven
“The band’s hard-to-pin sound, equally inspired by clubland standards and experimental art-pop, has evoked comparisons to Arthur Russell’s left-field disco and Depeche Mode’s dystopian New Wave, as well as the ethereal croon of Antony Hegarty.” – WXPN’s “World Café: Next”
“Pioneering a new and distinctive Copenhagen sound is the band When Saints Go Machine, whose hypnotic electro-pop is held together by the lead singer Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild’s soaring falsetto vocals”
– The New York Times’ T Magazine blog