alternative * rock * punk
A decade on from New Brigade, an instant punk record made by four Danish teenagers that came out of nowhere and inspired total devotion around the world, Seek Shelter -- Iceage's fifth LP and first for Mexican Summer -- is proof that their lives are still happening through their music, and that they remain determined to harness it. Enrolling Sonic Boom (Pete Kember of Spacemen 3) to produce, Seek Sheltersees Iceage's propulsive momentum pushing them in new, expansive, ecstatic directions. The sound of an emotional core unwound, Seek Shelter radiates warmth and a profound desire for salvation in a world that's spinning further and further out of control.
In an extraordinary and unexpected run following the release of their debut LP, Iceage went from the fertile hyperlocal Copenhagen scene to stages all over the world. Their recordings reflect their journey: 2012's You're Nothing was hard, fast and raw, a bold doubling-down on the aggression of youth in the first record as well as the weight of expectation. Plowing Into the Field of Love (2014) and Beyondless (2018) saw a softening of the band's hardest edges and the arrival of a certain world-weary vaudeville in the Iceage sound. The band's past two records -- all filtered twangy guitar riffs, sparse piano arrangements, and slinky, slow-moving rhythms -- ventured into an intoxicated but knowing swirl, surveying the party at the end of the night. They'd seen it all, at least once, and their music rode the crest of that chaos.
Seek Shelter, the band's first record made with an outside producer, is the place they have been called to next. The LP was recorded at Namouche, a dilapidated wood-paneled Lisbon radio studio of 1960s vintage where the band set up for 12 days. It is the longest time they have spent recording a record. Steady rain dripped through the ceiling; they had to arrange their equipment around puddles and slowly-filling buckets covered in cloth so that the sound of droplets wouldn't reach the mics. Sonic Boom arranged garden lamps from a nearby party store for mood lighting in the high-ceiling space. A choir, the Lisboa Gospel Collective, joined the band for two tracks on the final day in the studio providing a new scale to Rønnenfelt's incantations.