Feature 137: Brimheim

Credit: Hey Jack

„can’t hate myself into a different shape” – was für eine Line. Ich finde es absolut bemerkenswert, wenn Menschen mit nur wenigen Worten auf den Punkt genau formulieren können, wofür ich mehrere Sätze bräuchte. 

In diesem Fall geht es um etwas, was viele Menschen meiner Generation kennen: Das Gefühl, niemals gut genug und der Wunsch, jemand anders zu sein, bei gleichzeitigem Wissen, dass, egal wie sehr man sich mit dem Selbsthass anstrengt, dieser einfach alles noch schlimmer macht. Diese Erkenntnis ist dann beides: niederschmetternd und hoffnungsvoll. Ambivalenz auf ganzer Linie. Gut ist, dass wir drüber reden.

Die dänisch-färöische Künstlerin Helena Heinesen Rebensdorf macht genau das auf ihrem Debübt-Album. Brimheim, wie sie ihr musikalisches Alterego mit Bezug auf ihre färöischen Wurzeln nennt (Heimat der brechenden Wellen), öffnet auf „can’t hate myself into a different shape“ (VÖ: 28.01.) die Tür zu ihrem Innersten. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Depressionen, Verletzlichkeit, Ängste und Beziehungen, aber auch die Hoffnung auf einen Ausweg. Die elf Songs wanken zwischen düsteren PJ Harvey-esken Kompositionen und „fist in the air“ Highschool-Indie-Rock. Resignation und Hoffnung. Brimheim nimmt uns mit auf den Weg durch eine (ihre) depressive Phase. 

„Singing my songs is a very pleasurable experience for me. It’s a release. Even when I sing about agonizing things. Through the music I’m able to be present and enjoy embodying every bit of what it means to be human – even the pain of it. That’s what makes music so special to me and that’s what I’ve attempted to channel on this record.”

Das Album ist ein emotionales und klangliches Erlebnis voller ehrlicher Beobachtungen, Mantras und Affirmationen, was Hörer:innen, die ähnliche Situationen durchleben, zweifellos Trost spenden wird. 

Die Playlist von Brimheim

Die traurigsten Lieblingssongs von Brimheim

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Gold Lion

I’ve always found Karen O’s energy so pure, expressive and aspirational. I already loved Yeah Yeah Yeah’s before ‘Show Your Bones’ came out, but got absolutely obsessed after. The first time I heard this song was in a CD store in a Copenhagen suburb on one of those listening stations they used to have. The opener of the album gave me chills and I bought the record immediately after listening to just that one song. 

Toth – Picture Of You

Toths solo debut, ‘practice magic and seek professional when necessary’ (brilliant title) was my favorite record of 2019 and songs from it have shown up on the top spots of my Spotify Wrapped since. The whole record is so full of hope and bursting with texture and creativity. He sings about sobriety, spirituality, the end of a 10 year relationship and how he’s approached his own healing. And he’s subtly funny as well. Choosing a favorite is impossible, but at the moment, I’m vibing with this one. I especially like the contrast between the verse and the chorus and the abstract outro. In my opinion Toth is a criminally underrated songwriter and deserves a much bigger audience than he currently has.

PJ Harvey – Down By The Water

It’s probably a surprise to exactly no one that I am a big PJ Harvey fan. This song encapsulates everything I love about her. Her theatrics, her strong yet vulnerable persona and the rawness of her sound. Also the call and response in this song is so cheeky. 

Now, Now – SGL

This song is the perfect pop-rock tune. The melody is addictive, the instrumentation is tight and well placed and the acoustic guitar and bass give it that little bit of edge. 

Susanne Sundfør – White Foxes

Susanne Sundfør is an amazing norwegian artist with a chill inducing voice and distinct gothic undertones in a lot of her work. This song was the first one I heard from her album ‘The Silicone Veil’ after having been completely transfixed by her 2010 record ‘The Brothel’. I was very inspired by how synthbased it was comparatively and how she managed to still make it feel both human and fantastical. This song is a brilliant example of that. 

Mitski – Heat Lightning 

My favorite artist working today is probably Mitski. And even though it took me a few listens to get into her new stuff, I am a full convert now. ‘Heat lightning’ starts out sounding almost like a psych rock track but evolves into a very tender and intimate song about surrender. The little organ stabs and drum machine introduction in the second verse make for a great contrast to the more atmospheric elements. 

Ada Lea – Damn

Ada Lea is a singer and songwriter from Montreal. Her latest album, ‘one hand on the steering wheel, the other sewing a garden’ is as heartbreaking as it is relatable. The outro of this song where she repeatedly ‘damn’s’ everything from ‘the party’ to ‘the planet watching’ and gets more and more desperate as she repeats this curse until the song’s abrupt ending is so expertly crafted. 

Dry Cleaning – Scratchcard Lanyard

Dry Cleaning is a really interesting band. Both the pseudo abstract lyrics and the deadpan speak-sing delivery aren’t necessarily things that normally would resonate with me, but there’s just something about this music that grips me anyway. It speaks to my own feelings of disillusionment and resigned acceptance of the absurdity of life but is also hilarious and mind expanding at the same time. 

Portishead – The Rip

One of my favorite albums of all time is Portishead’s ‘Third’. The track list is perfect. As you’re taken from naive ukulele to jagged, aggressive snare hits it truly transports you. It’s a complete experience – always with Beth Gibbons sweet melancholic voice to guide you through. ‘The Rip’ has such a beautiful texture to it with the arpeggio synth and slow build. The music video is amazing too. 

Donna Missal – Sex Is Good (But Have You Tried)

One of my favorite discoveries last year was this song by Donna Missal. She has such a present voice that sounds like being told a special secret, sharing a deep and intimate moment with someone you’re falling in love with.