mon 27/05/2024

Treefight for Sunlight, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen | reviews, news & interviews

Treefight for Sunlight, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen

Treefight for Sunlight, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen

Psychedelic harmony pop from Denmark that gets hyper-cool Shoreditch to smile

Treefight for Sunlight: Psychedelic art pop that raises smiles in hyper-cool Shoreditch

Drummers that sing lead are rare. Ones that sing while pounding away like Keith Moon are even rarer. Denmark’s Treefight for Sunlight are a talented lot, a four-piece who all sing, with three taking the lead. These are the vocals that drive the band and their melodies. Chuck in a wodge of psychedelic nous and you have an art-pop combo that can raise smiles and even the odd scream in hyper-cool Shoreditch.


There’s little back story. From Copenhagen, Treefight for Sunlight formed in 2007. Their first single "Facing the Sun" was issued last May by Tambourhinoceros, the label run by a couple of members of fellow Danish art-poppers Oh No Ono. Their debut album, issued in Denmark as A Collection of Vibrations for Your Skull, followed in October. Recently released here by Bella Union – the home of Fleet Foxes, John Grant, Midlake and (fellow Danes) Chimes and Bells - it now simply bears the band’s name as its title.

It’s a terrific album, with high-pitched vocals that parallel MGMT and fellow Danes Mew and Oh No Ono. Their twinkly psychedelic harmony pop evokes The Beach Boys, The Left Banke, The Association and Eighties paisley undergrounders The Three O’Clock. But Treefight for Sunlight rise above being record-collector rockers with their straight pop approach. Their songs are about the vocals and melody, and are as catchy as Sixties bubblegum music.

In person, Treefight for Sunlight aren’t as lush-sounding as their album. They couldn’t be. What’s gained live is an edge that stretches songs out, taking them to unexpected places. One of those is The Beatles. Album closer “Time Stretcher” gains some swooshy, wooshy “Tomorrow Never Knows” noises, while the drums of “They Did Never Know” borrow Ringo’s rotating patterns from the Revolver closer. None are overt lifts, more passing references, like "They Did Never Know” momentarily echoing the “in the cantina” section of The Beach Boys' “Heroes and Villains”.

“Time Stretcher” features drummer Mathias Sørensen on lead vocal. It’s odd watching him do both seamlessly. Stranger still is their version of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights”, sung by bassist Christian Rohde Lindinger. Not for yucks, it’s delivered straight with no fanfare and runs into their own Baroque-styled “Riddles in Rhymes”. Album high point “What Became of You and I?” came third in their set and seemed hard to follow, yet all of the above were played after it.

Treefight For Sunlight are quirky. Their high-pitched vocals and overt poppiness might be too sugary for some. But their joy shines through. Denmark is producing some incredible music right now – Efterklang, Oh Land, Giana Factory, Oh No Ono, Chimes and Bells and on and on. Amongst this outpouring, Treefight for Sunlight can be assured they don’t have to fight to be heard.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the video for Treefight for Sunlight’s “What Became of You and I?

‘Treefight for Sunlight’s psychedelic harmony pop is as catchy as Sixties bubblegum music’

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