The musical new year is still in hibernation, the increasingly choreographed and grating hype for fresh acts standing in for any real action. Denmark's Treefight for Sunlight have taken the opportunity to play a week of London club shows, and support gigs with New York's mighty The Walkmen. Their self-titled debut album, due next month, is dipped in West Coast warmth, and this fresh-faced quartet, barely out of their teens, exude health and hope.
They optimistically invite dancing before signature tune "Facing the Sun", to warm us in what these Scandinavians politely pretend is cold weather. It starts with surge and volume recalling early 1990s shoegazing, like a massively milder My Bloody Valentine. Keyboardist Niels Kirk adds baroque delicacy, suggesting they listen to Love, then an escalating urgency emphasised by the drums, and unified by climactic harmonies. These childhood friends democratically swap lead vocals (despite some singers being far weaker than others), squeezing their eyes shut as if transported.
Those harmonies, sometimes sampled alongside their live singing, define Treefight for Sunlight. They can be heavy as well as ethereal; the opening chords of one song echo Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart", Mathias Sorensen's drums clatter forcefully, and these Genesis fans reveal their controlled prog-rock tendencies. But songs end in pretty keyboard codas rather than bombast.
January is about predictions of stardom in pop. Treefight for Sunlight invite a more measured approach. They're far from great, but this short club set is enough to hear that they are already outgrowing their influences. Like the natural, healthy process contained in their name, they're worth nurturing, and are on a rare modern label – Bella Union – with the patience to do so. An album or two down the line, they might reach the sun.Reuse content