Revered for building euphoric, atmospheric worlds of sound, Communions have announced their sophomore full length Pure Fabrication due out April 23 on Tambourhinoceros. The Danish rockers’ new record effortlessly straddles the cerebral and the visceral, marrying abrasive punk sensibilities from the artistic underground of Copenhagen’s Mayhem scene with anthemic indie- and pop-rock. The band shared acclaimed early single “Splendour” late last year and today they invite fans into the complex layers of new “Bird Of Passage” single/video.
“Bird of Passage is about the kind of identity crisis that emerges as a natural consequence of life’s variability; of the fact that one’s self is constantly changing, never the same from one day to the next,” explains the band. “The video tries to capture this visually by showing Mads walking through an endless series of opening doors, with no way of turning back. The concept of the video is about moving through different phases of life. In the video, like the song, memory plays a role. The video utilizes a split screen, highlighting the theme of a split identity; Mads and Martin are split up by the screen, but ultimately together in their childhood memories.”
Introducing the theme of self-understanding which is at the center of Communions’ new collection, the new single goes one layer deeper, meditating on how one’s identity is embedded and intertwined within history and culture at large. “In all endeavors / It’s the architecture that survives / In history / People tend to recognize the statues / Not the slavery”. Though there is a cultural undercurrent to the song, it’s also just as much a personal statement on identity-crisis and confusion, inspired by Rehof’s experience of moving from Denmark to the United States and back again. ““Bird Of Passage” tries to put words to the themes of change and variability; that one is never the same person from one day to another,” explains lead singer Martin Rehof.
A 15-track collection of Odyssian scope, Communions weave an intricate tapestry from “cultural debris”. Pure Fabrication draws upon brothers Martin and Mads Rehof’s personal experience as much as it does from a collage of myths. The Danish brothers spent over a decade of their childhood and early teens in Seattle, only to move back to Copenhagen in the midst of their formative years. While Pure Fabrication is partly a bid at finding their place and self-understanding through the lens of stories and myths—a keen listener can spot traces of Goethe’s Faust, Shakespear’s Lear, Homer’s Sirens, and the Norse fate-holding Norns—at its core, it is something more: a meta-narrative on the human condition.
Following the arc of a reverse coming of age story through the journey of a fictional protagonist, Pure Fabrication opens on the themes of liberation, independence, freedom, transformation—the ingredients of a coming of age story—and the character’s pursuit of them. Yet, “as the album progresses, strong ironic overtones in whatever praise of freedom was besung are slowly unveiled,” the band shares. “While the opening songs represent a character with an—perhaps naive—assertiveness and unwillingness to be restrained or suppressed by the ways of the world, by the end of the record, the protagonist questions the entire notion of desire and freedom.”
After six years, three EPs, one album, countless shows and festivals across the globe, Communions is now led by Rehof brothers: Martin (vocals and guitar) and Mads (Bass) with “Splendour” still featuring the contributions of ex-bandmates Jacob van Deurs Formann (guitar) and Frederik Lind Köppen (drums). Fate, freedom, culture, love and identity are on trial in Pure Fabrication, as Communions question themselves and their world on this masterful sophomore album.