Every now and then Århus’ SPOT Festival is THE place to discover the finest of Scandinavia’s new music in the pop and rock universe. To be honest BOHO DANCER is not really pop nor rock, but this band not only played this festival twice so far, this band also really convinced our two NBHAP guys from Jena, Axel and Robert, and so here it is now: Innocently grotesque freak folk from Denmark!
I also got immediately hooked by the band’s first EP Furry Skin, which is luckily available on full stream via their Soundcloud, and sent them some questions. Ida, Boho Dancer’s wonderful singer, was so kind to answer them quickly and in detail…
Hi Ida! You get tons of positive feedback on your Soundcloud site and your SPOT gig also got overwhelming reviews. How has it been for you personally to play that festival… again?
Ida– SPOT Festival gives you a perfect opportunity to play your music in front of a very dedicated and open audience. People at SPOT are usually a lot into checking out new music, so it’s a perfect place for us to be. Last year SPOT was overwhelming and magical, and as a pretty new name on the scene it gave us a lot. This year was overwhelming and magical too, but furthermore we succeeded in creating a lot of buzz around the concert and got the attention of some important people from abroad. We worked a lot before, under and after the festival and it paid off.
You have played the SPOT Festival for the second time now, but it looks like you hardly played any other country than Denmark so far!? Do you think this will change now with the release of your first CD?
Ida– It’s true we didn’t play much abroad. But that’s soon to change thanks to the positive reactions after the SPOT concert. We’re very excited to get out there and see what people think about us. We feel we have a lot to offer – and even more with the upcoming full-length album.
There are songs by BJÖRK or JONI MICHELL, named ‘(The) Boho Dancer’ Was one of this origin of your own band’s name or what made you choose this name?
Ida– I have been a fan of JONI MITCHELL for many years now, and though it is not my favorite song, we really liked the sound of the words and the image of a Boho Dancer connecting with the music, taking it to a higher level. Music creates images, and the Boho Dancer is one of those images – it’s a dedicated listener in the audience letting go, it’s us letting go, it can be anything the music makes you. A bohemian soul finding his/her way through movement inside and out, through art and through openness.
Your sound is somewhat eerie but catchy – I like that, it’s a sign of good songwriting and shows that you probably spent a lot of time with writing, arranging and producing your first EP ‘Furry Skin’. So, how long did it really take you to shape that wonderful sound and these five songs?
Ida– We spent about two and a half weeks in the studio with a great, creative producer called Jonas Tranberg. We came in with 5 songs and one of them, Only A Tale, was actually finished on the day we recorded it, which made it intense and fresh. But before that we spent a lot of time in the practice room arranging the music, being all nerdy. Then we entered the studio with open minds. We knew we had the material, we just needed to make it something very special. So how long did it take…. all in all, 25 years :) Everything is an influence, and it’s 25 years of a great big search. Furry Skin expresses that search.
You also seem like a good team. What is your musical background and when and how did you come to play together as BOHO DANCER. BOHO DANCER really began to shape up when life made us only three, and we managed to dig deeper into the sound with only six hands – that made us even more creative and experimental.
The “eeriness” I have mentioned before comes probably from the first Boho Dancer impression I had: the video clip for ‘Me & Your God’. Ida, you look creepy there… But I guess this exactly was the intention to make a modern anti-idolism song!? :)
Ida– Actually it’s funny how coincidences can make sense in the end. The video was supposed to be in color, but the background wall looked so hideous that we ended up making it black and white, which made it even more creepier. The idea with the house being build and then destroyed came from the video producer Jakob Keinicke. If God is dying he must be a physical thing. And when we find out he’s only human, he dies. The house we build falls down. There is a lot about transformation in the songs on Furry Skin, it has to look and feel ugly and terrible ’till you see things clearer, ’till you grow, and maybe feel better… At least until the next transformation comes around.
I also find Pistols breathes a very mocking tone. …“Everyone needs their pistols…” There is a really strong contradiction between the loveliness in Ida’s voice, the beautiful melodies (with a psychedelic twist) and those lyrics… In the same song there’s the line “Lucy in the river”, an homage to The Beatles song Lucy In The Sky? ;)
Ida– Ha, I really love that, but actually I sing “loose it in the river”. Maybe I should change it! ;)
To which (other) artists do you look up to? I could guess that VASHTI BUNYAN’s music was a great inspiration for the Boho sound!?
Ida– We just came across VASHTI BUNYAN half a year ago and she is just amazing. That Train Song takes one’s breath away… I found inspiration in PATTI SMITH, NINA SIMONE and JONI MITCHELL some years back, actually I still do, and as all of these three women are strong artistic and authentic personalities, they helped me a lot in my search as an artist. We all agree on NEIL YOUNG, LEONHARD COHEN and Local Natives as someone very important we all look up to. But there are so many… Music just inspires, weather you play it yourself or listen to it…
I suppose you already work on a debut album? Can you already tell us something about your first full-length?
Ida– Well… Just a bit :) We are heading into the studio in a couple of weeks. We have a lot of great material to choose from and have high expectations for the full-length. The melodies and the words are there – now we have to add a lot of nerve and presence and get it on the recording so everyone can feel it… And then we will do some touring in Denmark and south of the border during the fall. We can’t reveal much yet, but things are shaping up nicely.
Last question: For you as persons, what do “hope” and “passion” mean to you?
Ida– It’s everything. Passion comes first and then you start hoping. You keep on going because nothing can kill your passion. If the passion is gone, there is no reason to hope for it to come true. And we are very strong believers :)
folk / experimental
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