News, Views, Happiness Pursued


by | Sep 17, 2020

Short Wave

“I found my friend,” sings Rachel Somerville in the opening minutes of Short Wave, Süpernørmål’s latest EP. “I found her in a sound.” This strange, audiophilic sentiment acts as a mission statement for this two-track/four-part journey. This Maine quintet has an experimental bent, but not in a genre-blending sense – their aesthetic is indebted to the Bristol, UK, trip-hop scene of the mid-’90s, an ideally gloomy backdrop for Somerville’s enigmatic vocal flights. The experiments happen between the tracks, where found sounds and techy static and mysterious radio transmissions slip into being, swirling together to build their own mythology. In between Short Wave’s two extended suites, we hear a woman’s crackling voice reciting the numbers “39715.” Google that and you’ll be taken down a wormhole about a British spy agency radio transmission called the “Lincolnshire Poacher.” The more I learned about this secret, cryptic audio wavelength, the more I understood the vibe this band is aiming for. And that’s not the only history lesson to be learned. Short Wave ends with a fractured acoustic pastiche called “Charlotte Moorman (is naked and unafraid),” an ode to a legendary avant-garde cellist who was arrested on stage for performing topless. Attention everyone who is inspired by risk takers and boundary breakers: you just might find a friend in these sounds.

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