Eggs by Oh No Ono
Formats: Limited Edition Deluxe CD (BAY 75CD) Limited Edition DMM Double Vinyl LP (BAY 75V) Digital (BAY 75E)
Release Date: 8 February 2010
You can find a rather wonderful microsite for Eggs here. It's a digital version of the extraordinary CD booklet, and you can also listen to three songs from the album.
Oh No Ono are set to kick off the new decade right with the wholly immersive, phantasmagorical pop bliss of Eggs. The Danish quintet – Aske Zidore (guitar, vocals), Malthe Fischer (vocals, guitar), Nis Svoldgaard (bass, vocals), Nicolai Koch (keyboards) and Kristoffer Rom (drums) – harness an epic, chiaroscuro psychedelia, forging it into dazzling gems of otherworldly pop brilliance. The burnished tunes belie an apocalyptic lyrical bent, the combination recalling an even more tripped-out MGMT, Flaming Lips or Caribou, liberally sprinkled with elements of George Harrison’s Beatles songs, Sparks and the lofty ambition of Kate Bush. With a formidable command of maximalist melodies that seemingly pulsate in 3D and cascade in waves of decadent pleasure, Oh No Ono are set to turn 2010 a baroque shade of day-glo.
Formed in 2003 in the mediaeval Danish city of Aalborg, and now resident in Copenhagen, Oh No Ono enjoy some celebrity as national pop stars. The national (BBC-equivalent) broadcaster DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) awarded them ‘Breakthrough Of The Year’ and they were nominated for two Danish Music Awards, Best Band and Best Newcomer, while influential Danish magazine Soundvenue recently voted Eggs as the 5th best Danish album of the decade. Word of mouth from their European festival appearances over the past couple of years set the blogs alight.
Now with Eggs, their debut for The Leaf Label (on Brooklyn’s Friendly Fire in America, and Morningside and the mysterious 01-11700170 in Denmark), Oh No Ono have the rest of the world in their sights. In love with the power of pop, their subversive thrill in pushing new ideas under the radar is highly contagious.
With a terrific visual aesthetic directed by the band and artist Malene Mathiasson, featuring a series of darkly sexual paintings that would make Hieronymus Bosch and Francis Bacon blush, their multi-layered, minutely detailed artwork will doubtless prompt much analysis. Unsurprisingly, the Kubrick-esque video clip – think The Shining with a bevy of romantically adventurous nurses – for first single ‘Swim’ (directed by Adam Hashemi) hit number one on the Pitchfork video chart this last summer.
Eggs was recorded in a small country house on the Danish isle of Mon over a nine-month period, allowing the band to create a hermetically sealed universe where images, words and sounds collide in a united vision of a corrupted pop Babylon. The band interweave propulsive grooves with orchestral embellishment, layered harmonies, backwards loops and captured moments from their island environment, using some esoteric techniques. Woodwind players echo the sound of bird flocks taking flight. Percussion is played on a water-filled tub. Elephants trumpet. A massive choir of Oh No Ono’s friends sing-along with the organ in a 300-year-old church, where the group also recorded the (mostly self-arranged) string parts.
Displaying a pirate-lusty approach to songcraft, Oh No Ono dazzle with their ambition and the scale of their accomplishment. Gorge on the dystopian feast. From the cacophonic, sitar and clavichord-drenched miasma of childhood-nightmare ‘Eleanor Speaks’, and the drama and tension of ‘Swim’, the album immediately drags you under their spell. ‘Internet Warrior’ rockets towards the heart of the sun, showering everything in a pinwheel of melodic sparks amid a throbbing rhythmic undertow.
‘Icicles’ abounds in symphonic splendour, while detailing a horror story of a snowman-child abandoned by his mother who is slowly melting (we think). A massed choir heralds the shimmering underwater textures of ‘The Wave Ballet’, giving way to the ornately textured, galvanized pop and falsetto singalongs of ‘The Tea Party’.
Eggs closes with a near-ten minute opus, ‘Beelitz’. If you needed any more convincing of the giant-slaying scale and wonderment within this band, ‘Beelitz’ will humble you into submission. “The song gets its name from a forsaken military hospital in Germany that we recorded in,” explains Nicolai. “It was used first by the Germans in World War II and later by the Soviet forces. We had to break in and it was really cold, but it had a lot of atmosphere and beautiful acoustics.”
The first edition of the CD comes with a fabulous 20-page booklet and outer slipcase.
The limited edition double vinyl LP is packaged in a stunning gatefold sleeve, with vinyl cut at 45rpm using DMM from 24-bit audio masters for best possible sound quality.
Digital versions of the album ordered from iTunes and our own shop come with a 22-page digital booklet, and on iTunes you also get the Swim video thrown in.
Here's the (US) artwork which recently got nominated for a Grammy. The European artwork features a different outer sleeve.