When Saints Go Machine: “Kelly”
Copenhagen’s When Saints Go Machine have spent nearly four years together, yet they’re just getting around to releasing their debut. Konkylie comes out on June 21st, and it’s the result of years of serious work on the band’s sound.
Like many of their Danish peers, the quartet started out making fast-paced dance music, but they couldn’t reconcile all of their influences and tastes in so narrow a genre. The members profess their love of not only dance and electronica but also jazz, soul, pop, and folk. Konkylie is a mixture of all these elements, oftentimes recalling the beautiful weariness of the late dance producer Arthur Russell’s work.
The name When Saints Go Machine is a perfect distillation of their sound–machine-like in its precision but elevated by the band’s ethereal playing style. Lead singer Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild has a magnetic voice, no more so than on the album’s first single. At first “Kelly” sounds like yet another electro-pop affair, but there’s a dark undercurrent that serves as the foundation of the song’s slowly unraveling tale.