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Esben and the Witch; perfect sounds for the spooky season

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Esben and the Witch are Rachel Davies, Daniel Copeman and Thomas Fisher; and together they form an indie rock outfit with more thrills and squeals than the whole of the spooky season.

Having supported the likes of The Big Pink, The xx and Foals; the Brighton trio have also just been nominated for a Q Award as the “next big thing.” Listening to their dark and dangerous take on modern indie-electronica, it isn’t difficult to figure out why.

The lead single from their recently released EP of the same name, ‘Marching Song’,  is accompanied by a slightly disturbing yet impossible to avert your eyes from, music video. The track could easily be placed on any of the current high drama and high gloss teen vampire outings, with its supernatural synth sounds and blood lust imagery. I predict big things for this track, with an album being tentatively scheduled for early 2011.

Another track which I have taken quite the shine to is ‘Corridors’, taken from the band’s debut EP, entitled ’33’, which was released in 2009. Davies’ vocals penetrate the heart of every track and it is clear to see that her vision and musicality are a major driving force in the band.

I decided to do a bit of research in to the band’s name, finding it both quirky and intriguing. ‘Esben and the Witch’ is actually the name of a Danish fairytale, which very roughly goes as thus…A farmer has several sons and he sends them out with money and horses to seek their fortune. The youngest of the sons, Esben, is left out of this money and horse-giving and you quickly deduct that he is rather the black sheep of the family. He therefore strikes up an unusual and never properly explained love-hate relationship with a witch who lives nearby. He accepts several tasks and challenges from the King, all in order to save the lives and reputations of his brothers, which all involve him stealing from the witch. The witch gets mighty miffed after a while and kidnaps him, planning to fatten him up and roast him for dinner. ..still a children’s fairytale, you ask? Anyhoo, he falls in love with the witch’s daughter or she falls for him, one or the other, and he manages to get away and the King releases his brothers and they all return home to Father, praising Esben for being their saviour. I’m not entirely sure what the moral of the story is; perhaps not to miff off a witch? Witches have feelings too? Don’t take your brother for granted? But, I digress.

‘About This Peninsula’ is also taken from the ’33’ EP and is another of my favourites on the record. I look forward to hearing more from this band on a forthcoming album.


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

October 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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