For Morgan Phalen and Daniel Collás, their self-titled debut album under the duo’s moniker “Drakkar Nowhere” has been a long time coming. In 2012, both men found themselves creating music in a kitchen in Stockholm, Sweden. Their music was praised by nearby musicians and elaborated upon by many, bringing an international community together with music. In fact, it didn’t stop in Sweden, as they traveled to New York and Los Angeles and brought more inspiration to the music as well. “Daniel and I have this evolving petri-dish of nascent song snippets, loops of random music and just general flotsam,” explains Morgan. “We kinda just chuck it all together in a big file and see what connects. We started it out as a mixtape but it’s become such a confusing mess that we’ve been using it as an incubator to build songs from instead.” The beautiful work that has resulted – Drakkar Nowhere – is to be released September 23rd, and we’ve got the premiere of their latest track “The Line”.
I think “The Line” started as a little acoustic guitar loop and a bit of nonsense singing, thrown into the incubator. Daniel had recorded all these great drums in Stockholm with our friend Moussa Fadera and he found some parts that fit perfectly with the little loop. Moussa has been an essential part of this whole record. He lends legitimacy and sanity to an otherwise fairly chaotic and blind process. The rest of it was built around those few elements. Daniel and I always I write lyrics together. We start with some gobbledygook and try to decipher or decode it into some sort of simple wisdom or charming circular nonsense or sometimes we use it as an emotional mirror. My relationship at the time was falling apart so that’s in there mixed up with all the rest. When the process is working it’s like something mystical takes place. It is like finding the figure embedded in the block of granite or reading tea leaves. “The Line”, despite its brevity, is a song with two acts. It starts as a stiff contemplation on limits, self-imposed or societal, and it evolves into a talk with the man in the mirror.
A psychedelic, other worldly song if there ever was one, we are not at all surprised that these guys find their stylings akin to those of the storied Gibb brothers. Sure, there are some futuristic, alien-sounding dubs over the music, but largely we find ourselves transported back a few decades, loving on the lounge music-meets-crooning love song-meets-psychedelic blending of vocals. Let it carry you away.
Drakkar Nowhere is out September 23rd on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. It is available for preorder now.