Listening to…

Anchorless, Anchorless (6-song EP on Ponyrec)

There are so many great Danish pop bands, if you’re willing to excuse how they sound exactly like great American pop bands of five or ten years earlier. Derivative is too cold a description: a band like Anchorless has taken the studio jangle and twang you associate with a thousand acts from Athens, Boston, Bloomington or Seattle and have codified it into the essence of contemporary pop. What you lose in spontaneity and progressive spirit, you gain in refinement. And sometimes that’s just how you want your pop: refined.

…and amiable. There are lots of cheery new-wave “wo-ee-o”s and climactic harmonies on this six-song EP, but it’s even more gracious than that. All six songs have been put out as a free download from the Copenhagen-based PonyRec label and are also all available at Anchorless’ MySpace. They’re worth paying for, but you don’t have to.

I’m finding these tracks irresistible. They remind me of the sort of a singles I’d seek out due to back-pages reviews in mags like Trouser Press in the first throes of the indie revolution. There’s a steady, studied confidence in the grooves. The English language vocals are crisply enunciated, bending to American rock accents the same way The Beatles did. Upbeat with frisky basslines, yet nervy enough to matter. Nostalgia yet new to me. As they bleat so delightfully in “Alignments Bend”: “I like what you do.”