[Photo courtesy of Janice Chou for FREEwilliamsburg]
I had absolutely no idea who Oh Land was when I saw her on the bill for FREEwilliamsburg’s Northside Festival showcase at Brooklyn Bowl. And initially, I didn’t care. It was Sunday night, there were five acts on the bill, and Hooray for Earth was up next. All I needed was another 35 minute set in my life.
Then I saw her.
A tall, stunningly gorgeous Danish woman takes center stage, looking like a hipster Heidi Klum, with a DJ/beat specialist off to the left. Oh, and she’s wearing a wolf hat, which she takes off for the first song. And high heeled boots. And short shorts. In front of her, a keyboard. To her right, a giant black box contraption with electronic drums stuck to one side, balloons tied to the top. Suffice it to say, Oh Land didn’t look a bit like any of the other 16 or so bands I saw last weekend.
Then, I heard her.
From note one, former ballerina Nanna Øland Fabricius (Oh Land, get it?) proves that she has the voice and music to match her striking looks. Her initial approach is simple. “Hey, I’m Oh Land. I’m going to play a song called ‘Perfection’.” Huge beats drop, drowning out the bowling. She starts to sing. The song sounds like flying, a simple but beautiful love song, Fabricius’ voice strong and clear over the beat. It is perfection; perfect, dreamy pop. Although Oh Land is known in her native Denmark, and has an EP and a record (Fauna) out, her profile in the U.S. has been relatively minimal, with an SXSW gig earlier this year being the first big exposure. Fabricius tells the audience it is her first time playing these songs live, yet the rest of the performance is spot-on. My favorite song was the quietest, “Lean,” which you can stream here. Throughout Oh Land’s short but extremely well-received set, I’m running the simple math: voice + songs + looks = rock star.
It turns out I am not the only one who thinks so.
Oh Land has already been snapped up in the U.S. by Epic Records, a “major label” that is home to a few other artists you may have heard of, like Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand and Shakira. Good for Epic, and for Oh Land – I think they’ve got a winner here. Epic plans to release Oh Land’s record later this year, with her first single, “Sun of a Gun” set to drop in early September, album to follow. Epic was gracious enough to grant NYCTaper permission to release this recording prior to the album’s release date, provided that we edited out a few numbers and a bit of tuning. While it is our normal policy to only release complete shows, we felt that our readers deserved to hear anything we could give them by this incredible artist. Please check out Oh Land’s record and “Sun of a Gun” (available for download with the complete set below) when Epic releases it. Also, Fabricius just moved to Williamsburg – so if you see her in the neighborhood, please say hi.
I recorded this set in the same way as the Keepaway recording. This set is particularly strong sound-wise, as my “stack tape” method works well for Oh Land’s relatively simple keys/beats/vox setup. Thanks to FREEwilliamsburg and Epic Records for making this happen.
Read an interview with Oh Land on FREEwilliamsburg here.
Direct download of MP3 files [HERE]
Download the show in FLAC [HERE].
Brooklyn, NY USA
An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com
Equipment: Schoeps CMC641>Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) (24/44.1)
Position: ~12ft from right stack, mics A/B, pointed at stack, 12ft up
Mastering: 24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Audacity (set fades, EQ, tracking, amplify channels)>FLAC Level 8
03 Wolf and I
06 Break the Chain
08 Sun of a Gun
If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Oh Land, visit their MySpace page, and purchase their forthcoming Epic Records release as well as Fauna, which is most easily purchased in the U.S. on iTunes.