[sic] Magazine

Søren Juul – Søren Juul EP

Manly, a beach-side suburb of Sydney, is a pretty amusing place for the outsider. On its highstreet there’s a string of knowingly tongue-in-cheek shopfronts that read Manly Hairdressers, Manly Cupcakes, Manly Launderette etc. It makes me smile every time I’m reminded of the place so Søren Juul, formerly of tasteful synth-poppers Indians, starts his new and eponymous three-track project off on a strong footing with a cut named “Manly Beach”. It’s a track that starts in whispers and with sparse piano, growing into a stately and cinematic swell and shuffling like the first dance in some tearjerker where, against all the odds, love wins out – a trick Juul no doubt picked up when scoring part of the film adaptation of John Green’s cult novel, The Fault In Our Stars.

Wrongfully often bundled in with the late chillwave movement (that’s probably Neon Indian’s fault), Juul is sometimes however closer to the other tag that still dogs him, that of being “Denmark’s Bon Iver”, and his melancholy bleating and dangerously sad songcraft does have a hint of the Justin Vernons to it. Juul is his own man though and the aptly named “Ambitions”, which again builds impressively, shows it via tender acoustic guitar and electronics, rousing percussion and slashing synth pulses. It’s a creaky, chilly and outdoorsy sound that’s also very Scandinavian in a post synth-pop kind of way. It’s also the best thing Juul has done to date. An LP due in 2016 could be rather special.

~The S/T EP will be released September 3rd 2015 via 4AD. An LP will follow in 2016~