In Review: Iceage - 'Shelter Song'

On their latest single the Danish punks soften around the edges with a Britpop-inspired, unifying alternative to their earlier, more abrasive overtones.
Posted: 6 April 2021 Words: Tom Cramp

Iceage have returned with another single from their upcoming 4th studio album, Seek Shelter, due to be released on May 7th: 'Shelter Song' is a step in a different direction for the Copenhagen band, who are well-known and respected for their pioneer status in a rejuvenated post-punk scene. The single instead borrows tangible elements of Britpop with languid, heavy guitars, richly choral backing vocals (from Lisboa Gospel Collective) and melancholic lyrics.

There is genuine heart-warming and optimistic feeling to the track; ironic really, as some of the band’s most uplifting music comes at a time when many listeners around the world are having to deal with significant hardship. Even the video takes into account current global events, emphasising the importance of being surrounded by friends and family in familiar places of joy and peace.

Director and long-time friend of the band Catherine Pattinama Coleman said in a statement: “As a childhood friend of theirs, it was important for me to showcase our friendship and the people we share everyday life with. So instead of making a video full of symbolism or a staged performance, I wanted to make a private and personal video close to our hearts. After a crazy year of Covid-19, the world in flames, and structural racism peaking at such an extent, I wanted to create a meaningful piece, especially being a woman of colour and fully in my third trimester. In the midst of a pandemic, it’s important to remember that those of us who are privileged enough to have a roof over our heads, food, security, love and care, is something of great value. Love is not something one should not take for granted.”

Whether it was purely intentional due to the past year, or not, it seems Iceage have created an album that's a unifying alternative to their earlier, more abrasive overtones based on the singles they've released so far - even frontman Elias Rønnenfelt's typically intense, fractured lyricism has softened round the edges with togetherness and connection seemingly central themes. No doubt why it's one of the year's more anticipated releases.

Seek Shelter is out on 7th May via Mexican Summer.

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