“I care not for wealth and riches. But that blue flower I do long to see; it haunts me and I can think and dream of nothing else,” said the young Heinrich von Ofterdingen, the protagonist of the unfinished novel by the great German poet and philosopher Novalist, written at the turn of the 19th century. Since then, the blue flower or blaue blume has been used by the romantics of subsequent centuries as the mystical symbol of spiritual self-discovery.
There can be no doubt that the members of the Danish art pop band Blaue Blume are romantics. The’ve recently turned 25, and it’s difficult to be anyone else at this age. This was also the age of Heinrich von Ofterdinger who dreamt of the “blue flower,” and of Novalis himself. The musicians are looking for miracles — and find them in their own songs. The texts raise the eternal questions of love, life, and death.
Blaue Blume could be called the successors of the New Romanticism, which was born in Great Britain 35 years ago as a reaction to the insolent and vulgarly simple punk music, which enthralled the youth. The New Romantics, of which Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet proved to be the most commercially successful, were interested in everything that was complicated, intricate, ambivalent, and inexpressible. Their performances were always distinguished by some truly fantastic stage constumes.
The young Danish musiains, long-haired and thin-boned, brushed aside the peacock fashion sense of their British predecessors, but paid very close attention to their albums. The delicate and vibrant music of Blaue Blume echoes the best British bands of the 1980s: from Talk Talk and Japan to The Smiths and Cocteau Twins. The astonishing androgynous falsetto of the band’s frontman Jonas Smith has been compared to the voice of Antony Hegarty (Anohni).
Still, the day and night hymns of Blaue Blume, which recorded its debut album Syzygy in 2015, are sufficiently original. The band, which created a real stir with its live performances at Europe’s largest festivals (Roskilde, The Great Escape, Eurosonic), is currently among the continent’s top 10 up-and-coming indie musicians. The young Danes, who record elegant pop songs with showy melodies and timbral experiments, have been deservedly compared to the British veterans Wild Beasts and fellow countrymen Efterklang.
On March 30, the Danish romantics from Blaue Blume will give their first performance in Russia as part of the SOUND UP concert series.
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