The Swedish invasion continues; a few days after Goat's mind blowing performance in Athens, it was the turn of Malmö's Death And Vanilla to pay us a visit and present their psychedelic, baroque pop melodies. The trio of Marleen Nilsson, Anders Hansson and Magnus Bodin has been recording since 2009, but it is this year's "To Where The Wild Things Are", Death And Vanilla's second LP, that helped them to raise their profile outside of Sweden.
On their debut Athenian gig, the band presented us an hour-long, atmospheric set with songs from both of their albums. The fragile, haunting melodies from their vintage synthesizers created the backbone of their songs which own a debt to 60's French pop, '90s dreampop and soundtrack music, while the ghost of Broadcast cast its shadow on several occasions.
Their most interesting moments, for my ears at least, came when krautrock rhythms crept into the mix in songs like "Necessary Distortions" or "Cul-De-Sac", adding an underlying tension to their ethereal sound, which on other songs tends to be a little too dreamy for my liking. Overall, the nostalgic, psychedelic mood of their music went down well with the audience and, hopefully, next time they come to town, they will be able to attract a larger crowd, especially if they keep creating songs like the Beach House-y "California Owls" which deserves more attention from radio.
Death And Vanilla's performance was preceded by a set from local, guitar and synth, dark-pop duo Cruel Anagrams whose music brings flashbacks from the early '80s dark wave scene.
Here's a taste from Death And Vanilla's set on a very rainy Friday night in Athens:
Death and Vanilla - Cul-De-Sac, live in Athens