A sound that at once invokes the 70s art pop of Todd Rundgren, the pastoral folk of Heron and, at times, the vocal phrasings of Nina Simone, the twelve songs John Grant presents on Queen Of Denmark wholly create a world unto itself.

His first release since leaving the Czars, Queen of Denmark finds Grant’s rich baritone paired with the perfect foil in Midlake who here act as his backing band.  Those familiar with Midlake’s work on their Trials of Van Occupanther LP will at once note the stylistic underpinnings gracing Denmark’s 51 minutes. Allow me to to indulge cliché for a moment and state that the pairing sounds nothing short of pre-destined.

With an atmosphere and tone that ranges from pop culture whimsy (Sigourney Weaver and the Aliens franchise)—and a fascination with outer space—to heartbreaking lyrical bloodletting, Queen Of Denmark at times reads like one man’s journal after staring into the eye of the abyss and back again. Sounds heavy, no? It is, but thankfully the album doesn’t allow itself become fully consumed and mired under its own weight. Grant, like the darker work of Elton John/Bernie Taupin, knows, and respects, this balance between the light and the dark.

A record of poise and depth, Queen of Denmark will more than likely not find itself gracing the pages of the buzzy, hype driven, blogs and media outlets in 2010—and it is all the better for it. May I introduce a new cult classic.

MP3: John Grant :: I Wanna Go To Marz
MP3: John Grant :: Leopard And Lamb
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9 Responses to “John Grant :: Queen Of Denmark”

  1. Holy shoot. Why haven’t I heard of this guy before? Many thanks for turning me on to him. Great stuff!

  2. My new obsession. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the heads-up!

  4. Here’s what the old sage/crank Bob Lefsetz said about Grant a few days ago…

    http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2010/07/30/john-grant-queen-of-denmark/

  5. Looking forward to seeing John grant at greenman.net this weekend.

  6. […] than I can manage – so if this album flew under your personal radar I’ll point you here and here to read the plaudits – it really is a great piece of work created […]

  7. […] and thoughtful reviews for further research: Here and […]

  8. […] appetite for their sophomore full-length. The baroque avant-pop that is John Grant’s Queen Of Denmark caught my attention mid-year and has yet to let go. A sound that at once invokes the 70s art pop of […]

  9. […] my end of the year ‘form letter,’ John Grant’s solo debut, the dark horse that is Queen of Denmark, made quite the impression in the latter half of 2010. And rightly so. As with all of the […]

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