Born and raised on the bleakest shores of Denmark, Gløde founder and singer Simon Gløde has always drawn inspiration from the ever-present sand dunes of his birthplace, as well
as the ocean, and it is no surprise that his velvety voice
carries a hint of the sea in its yearning intensity. Meanwhile, his passionate yet sensitive songs are redolent of talents as diverse as Richard Hawley and Coldplay, allied to a folk
rock sensibility akin to Sufjan Stevens or even Leonard Cohen, although Gløde himself is more likely to acknowledge the influence of Nick Cave, Jeff Buckley, Elbow, Eddie Vedder and Fink on his songwriting.
Relocating to Hamburg in 2014, Gløde has over time shanghaied a number of well-known faces on the local
music scene into joining him on his musical journey, settling on his own surname for the moniker given to his quintet of salty dogs.
The band’s debut album, entitled ‘Ø’ (it is Danish for ‘island’), was recorded pre-dominantly ‘live’ on an old country estate on the Danish coast. An eminently stylish voyage, it operates in a wide bandwidth, drifting from hopeful melancholy to deep blue ease that in the course of its opening three songs delivers
the strident ‘As We Speak’, the brooding ‘Make Up’ and
the double bass and strings-led jazz overtones of the highly atmospheric ‘Lady In A Dress’.
A conscious nautical theme permeates the skilfully arranged songs that follow. ‘In The Sea’ is a ballad that switches from wistful to dynamic, while ’Sailor’ is in part an ode to ocean travel that appears to end midway through, only to re-emerge after a dreamy mid-section into a full on sea shanty, albeit one with nightmarish overtones. The influence of Hamburg,
its port, and the nightlife of its infamous St. Pauli district hangs heavy over Gløde’s lyrics.
Following a short song in Danish entitled ‘Jeg Vil Elske’, the folkier ’The Harder The Ground’ and album closer ‘Exhale’ sit either side of the reflective, autobiographical ‘Rose’ with
its anthemic guitar figure.