A very limited Japanese edition of Iceage’s ‘Beyondless’ has been pressed on smokey grey vinyl complete with OBI strip, to commemorate the band’s upcoming Tokyo tour date (June 11). It’s available now in very limited quantity.
(photo by Halfdan Venlov)Marking the start of their North American tour, Iceage have released a new video for ‘Pain Killer’, one of the standout tracks from their critically acclaimed fourth album Beyondless.
Hallucinogenic epiphanies filmed between Tijuana, San Diego and LA interspersed with 70’s pulp animation? Visual cues from Wild At Heart, Fear And Loathingin Las Vegas, and the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage? VHS footage featuring a cameo from Sky Ferreira shot in the garage of Lili Hayes?
Directed by Mortis Studio with additional animation from Josh Freydkis and featuring lead actors Linda Abud & Sebastian Alvarez, the video for ‘Pain Killer’ truly has it all, and is a potent chaser to the visceral and intoxicating potion of the audio.
Iceage’s North American run of dates in support Beyondless kicks off Friday, April 12th in Las Vegas, with Shame and Nadah El Shazly supporting on select dates. A full list of upcoming dates can be found below.
Following “Balm Of Gilead” released earlier in the month, Iceage today unveil a second new single with “Broken Hours.” A five minute epic of doom-laden swing and crashing, spidery riffs that backdrop Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s howling incantation: “Dying figures, they settle in / Broken hours / It lingers on” – it’s another heart-racing transmission from a band at the peak of their craft.
Iceage cap off their 2018 North American touring tomorrow night in Brooklyn with a show at Elsewhere; their biggest ever UK headline show follows in London on December 7th.
As we reach the end of 2018, it would not be an exaggeration to say we’re in the midst of many difficult moments in human history. The icecaps are melting. America is on the brink of a constitutional crisis. You can’t walk 15 feet in any major metropolis without breaking your neck on a discarded scooter. Your personal data (including everything we collect in this campaign) is being used for nefarious means. Nearly 15% of the public believes we actually told someone to “sound more like Adele.” Nearly $40 million was spent to produce “The Hurricane Heist”
All of that said, there is still beauty, mystery, and grandeur in what’s left of the fine arts. And when you’re done with the fine arts, there’s Matador’s incredible array of 2018 titles from Belle and Sebastian, Body/Head, boygenius, Car Seat Headrest, Lucy Dacus, Iceage, Interpol, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Liz Phair, Snail Mail, Kurt Vile and Yo La Tengo. Will these records help you sort out a world gone mad? hey, they’re great, but not THAT GREAT. Almost certainly, and that’s why your friends at Matador —a label as magnanimous as it is humble — are offering an unprecedented 25% OFF when you use the code, “terribletimes” thru December 13. Orders of $40.00 and above receive a free tote bag and take it from me, a tote bag skeptic, you’re way less likely to drop shit all over the sidewalk when you have a stylish bag.
To coincide with their North American tour kicking off tonight, Iceage have unveiled the previously unreleased “Balm of Gilead”, a striking reminder of the band’s ability to create a confident anthem in a dark age. “Balm of Gilead” is part of a split 7” with tourmates Black Lips and will be available in physical form exclusively at the shows on this tour.
Iceage — Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (vocals, lyrics), Jakob Tvilling Pless (bass), Dan Kjær Nielsen (drums), and Johan Wieth (guitar) — will return to as a quartet on this North American run. Fans can expect a taste of new music on top of the band’s beloved catalog. Or alongside. The repertoire is up to them (as always)
Earlier this summer, Iceage visited Seattle’s KEXP to record a 4 song session (above) consisting of “Catch It”, “Painkiller”, “Hurrah” and “Beyondless”. The band’s global touring schedule continues today at Hamburg’s Off The Radar Festival and the North American leg recommences November 5 in Vancouver (with Black Lips and Surfbort, see below).
Following a seven-week US tour on the heels of the recent release of their new album, Beyondless, Iceage have shared a new video for album stand-out track, “Under The Sun.” The video was filmed in Tokyo during their ‘Opening Nights’ residencies, which was an inter-continental exhibition that saw Iceage collaborating with their favorite visual artists (also staged in NYC and LA).
Directed by XXX, the “Under The Sun” video features the vibrant, eye-catching floral designs of renowned flower sculptor, Azuma Makoto, who handpicked Iceage for his flower-music installation series titled “Crazy Garden x Iceage.” The band’s darkly beautiful and chaotic live performance is an unexpected, yet fitting, foil to the delicate blooms
After a North American co-headline tour with The Black Lips in November, Iceage will return to London for a special performance at the Hackney Arts Centre on December 7th, with Helm and Astrid Sonne opening, and set design by Christian Friedlander. The full list of tour dates can be found below.
Iceage’s current run of North American dates still has more than a week to go and this morning marks the announcement of a November jaunt alongside Atlanta’s Black Lips with support from Brooklyn’s Surfbort.
Iceage take no issue with switching up their sound from project to project. While many of us would have been more than happy to hear a second act accompaniment to the rasping ‘You’re Nothing’ or a freewheeling ‘Plowing..’ Part 2, it’s with style and conviction that the band ceaselessly provide us with yet a new way of experiencing their world.
‘Beyondless’ is a record steeped in the miasma of old wrongs and new mistakes, hung on a scaffold of Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s most accomplished lyric writing to date. The title is a nod to the immortal Irish playwright – Samuel Beckett – whose bleak nuance and tendency to laugh directly into the abyss are appropriately mirrored in Rønnenfelt’s post-structuralist written reflections.
‘Beyondless’ is released today, buy it or stream it here
Iceage are in the middle of a short stretch of EU shows, before taking on a mammoth two month trip across North America:
Following their “Opening Nights” residencies in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, Iceage’s recent session for Pitchfork’s “Juan’s Basement Live” series can be viewed above. Global touring on behalf of the forthcoming ‘Beyondless’ kicks off May 5 in Amsterdam (dates below).
Today Iceage have birthed us a new track from their forthcoming long player ‘Beyondless’ – out May 4th. The new track ‘Take It All’ presents the group at their sidewinding best ripping a pleading and sincere groove out of a skeletal easy march beat.
There’s also news of more tour dates to add to the already extensive mid year run, seeing the band return to Europe for more gigs in September following on from their month and a half long Stateside soujourn through May and June.
One further reminder – the band’s ‘Opening Nights’ residency shows kick off TONIGHT in Brooklyn, NY
Copenhagen’s Iceage — Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (vocals, lyrics), Jakob Tvilling Pless (bass), Dan Kjær Nielsen (drums), and Johan Wieth (guitar) — will release their fourth album, ‘Beyondless’, on May 4th. After returning last month with ‘Catch It’, their first new material since 2013’s ‘Plowing Into The Field of Love’, Iceage now share Beyondless’s “Pain Killer”, featuring Sky Ferreira (the first guest vocalist to ever be featured on an Iceage song). Additionally, the band is announcing March residencies in New York and Los Angeles and dates in Japan in April, with their previously announced European and North American tours to follow in May and June.
The album was produced by the band with Nis Bysted, and recorded all-analog by Mattias Glavå at Kungsten Studios in Göteborg, Sweden, and mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast Studios in Seattle. The album was played entirely by Iceage with additional performances by Nils Gröndhal (violin), horns by Kasper Tranberg (trumpet), Lars Greve (saxophones) and Morten Jessen (trombone).
I can totally imagine myself as a kid lying in my closed-door room in the dark, listening to this band and getting what I need, the way a band can make a person feel seen and bring confidence, sometimes even represent an ideal. Or maybe I’m already all defiant and self-certain, and I identify with Iceage because they are too, and they’re who I want to represent me in music. It’s a weird combination of qualities that a rock and roll band and their recordings presents to their young crowd, imparts to them. The music being pure emotion, the strong emotions of youth—anger, sadness, contempt, longing—as well as energy and sex, and the band’s demonstration that it gracefully owns and provides those things, consoling their followers in all the confusion.
What is it that Iceage in particular brings? A large number of extraordinary things. (Poetry! But more about that later.) The band members were childhood friends, which is always good news. They’re like a small urban gang, faithful to each other, suspicious of outsiders (of which music journalists like me are the most suspect examples). At the same time, they seem mature and competent, which is almost too much to hope for. They not only play and compose well, but the production of their records, from the very beginning, and at the music’s most chaotic, is impeccable. Their presentation is as hardcore anarchic as any, but much better played, mixed, and recorded than most.
And then there’s the poetry and the intelligence. The members of Iceage are not only smart but hyper literate. Interviews with E. Rønnenfelt, the lead singer and lyricist of the band, find him mentioning Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter; Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye; Peter Shaffer’s Equus; Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea; Genet’s Thief’s Journal and Miracle of the Rose; The Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau; Henry Miller on Writing; and James Agee’s A Death in the Family, and that’s in a total of four interviews. It’s not that he flaunts it; he’s simply honest and naturally acknowledges it.
The lyrics of Iceage songs have the most sophisticated vocabulary I can remember finding in rock music. Here’s a favorite example, from “Pain Killer” on the new album:
“Praying at the altar of your legs and feet /Your saliva is a drug so bittersweet / I’ll arrogate what’s there to take. In an evanescent embrace.”
…“Arrogate”??? I half know the word, but I had to look it up to be certain. It means “to claim or seize without justification.” It’s funny because its Latin root also underlies the word “arrogant,” which one might be tempted to apply to Rønnenfelt for the contempt he shows for people who try to understand him. But I sympathize. It is extremely annoying to be characterized by other people. And the shading of meaning of the word “arrogate” brings a subtlety to those lyrics of his that “take” or “seize” or “claim” wouldn’t. Frankly, though, what I really like about those lines is the concept of praying to his lover’s feet. That’s good. It makes me think of a similar instance in another poet, Charles Baudelaire, who wrote in his “Hymn to Beauty”:
“Who cares if you come from paradise or hell, appalling Beauty, artless and monstrous scourge, if only your eyes, your smile or your foot reveal the infinite I love and have never known?”
This morning, Iceage release their first new music since 2014 in the form of the self-produced, “Catch It” (recorded at Göteborg, Sweden’s Kungsten Studios by Mattias Glavå) with an accompanying video directed by Adam Hashemi, mostly shot on 8mm in Los Angeles. In addition to previously announced European dates, Iceage kick off a North America tour on May 10 at Seattle’s Nordic Museum (dates and relevant ticket links are below)
Back in December of 2015 Iceage headed to Berlin for a very special performance of songs from their third album Plowing Into the Field of Love with added instrumentation from orchestral ensemble Stargaze.
Boiler Room were there to capture the footage. You can watch it HERE.
As they continue to crisscross the globe in support of ‘Plowing Into The Field Of Love’, Iceage fly directly from Athens, Greece’s Plissken Festival today to take part in this weekend’s Free Press Summer Festival in Houston. Full dates are below ; please note the venue for the June 10 date in Nashville has been changed to The End.