The Raeonettes - Back In Black
Author: Saeed Saeed
Friday, 11 April 2008
While the turn of the millennium saw a glut of shaggy haired rock bands replicating the sounds of their parents’ Rolling Stones collection, out from leftfield came the Danish duo The Raveonettes, whose only interest was to capture the simple song writing elegance of the 1950s – albeit with a big dollop of white noise added to the mix.
The results were albums like their debut Whip it On and Chain Gangs of Love setting the indie music scene alight, with fans hailing Sune Rose Wagner and Sharon Foo’s musical vision as the bridge between the sugary pop of Buddy Holly and the violent distortion of Sonic Youth.
Co-vocalist and bassist Sharon Foo states their musical outlook wasn’t formed as part of a calculated plan to nab attention; it was spurned by the love she and Wagner share for gold old fashioned American song writing.
“We have a very Americana feel to [the] way we approach our song writing,” Foo says from a small tour van heading to Canada. “We have a very romantic, almost naïve, view to our approach to song writing. American and European audiences see the charm of that as we see things from the outside.”
The Raveonettes noir-ish visual presentation also raised eyebrows as their album covers and video clips all pay homage to the pulp fiction movies and novels of old. Wagner often resembles a terminally depressed jilted lover while Foo – with her slender physique and porcelain facial features – is the ultimate femme fatale. On stage you feel like giving Wagner a hug and beer, while you wouldn’t dare approaching Foo.
She concedes that fans’ fascination with their image often gets in the way of their actual tunes but she claims The Raveonettes’ visual flair is merely a logical extension of their music.
“There is a difference between image and aesthetic and visuals,” she says. “We get a lot of our inspiration from movies, art, pictures and images, more than actually listening to music itself. That is our universe.”
The Raveonettes’ new offering, Lust Lust Lust, continues their tradition of marrying bubblegum pop harmonies with bleak lyrics centring on the unwholesome aspects of love. While in earlier albums the duo approached their songs with specific guidelines in place (all songs on their debut were in B minor and lasted under three minutes), Foo puts the new record’s looser sound to the group relying on purely on gut instincts.
“Recording the album was a very fluid process and we were trying to capture what was resonating with us at the time,” she says, “That’s why its sound so different. But it still has that Raveonettes sound to it.”
WHO: The Raveonettes
WHAT: Play the Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: Thursday 17 April