Q&A: Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls: Alive in UsDarkness Falls: Alive in Us (HFN Music, 10/25/11)

Darkness Falls: “Noise on the Line”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Darkness_Falls_Noise_on_the_Line.mp3|titles=Darkness Falls: “Noise on the Line”]

Earlier this year, Danish dream-pop duo Darkness Falls released its first self-titled EP, a promising four-track introduction of haunting melodies and guitar tremolos. It succinctly showcased the duo’s style while unmistakably bearing the fingerprints of electronic producer Anders Trentemøller, who produced the EP.

Now the same creative forces have captivated us again with Alive in Us, Darkness Falls’ full-length debut album. Keyboardist/vocalist Josephine Philip and guitarist/bassist Ina Lindgreen playfully yet skillfully combine psychedelics, ’60s guitar twang, surf-rock reverb, pulsing synth pop, and hypnotic harmonies to produce a dynamic sound that’s both eerie and infectious — and uniquely their own.

The album twists and turns from beginning to end, teasing us with deliciously sweet, melancholic vocals like those featured in the acoustic dreamscape of “Noise on the Line,” before traversing into the creepy-cool B-movie-inspired “Hey!” Alive in Us demands multiple listens; when revisited, each track begins to unravel, each time revealing something new.

ALARM spoke with the duo about how it developed its sound and what lies ahead for Darkness Falls.

How did you begin making music together?

We have known each other for 10 years now. We used to play together in an all-girl Ska band called Favelachic. After Favelachic disbanded in 2005, Ina started at The National Film School of Denmark, and Josephine put out an album with singer Ane Trolle under the name of JaConfetti.

As we were sitting one day together, sipping white wine and talking about music — our likes and dislikes — we suddenly found that we were both curious about the same thing within music. We decided on the spot that we would start working together again. This was back in 2009.

How are each of you involved in the songwriting process?

Usually, Josephine writes the lyrics and creates the compositions, and Ina brings guitar themes and ideas. We finish the songwriting and final tune together. We have different temperaments, and we challenge and complement each other.

As a whole, Alive in Us maintains a haunting and psychedelic quality throughout, but “Hey!” stands out with a B-movie sort of vibe.  Was film an inspiration at all when writing this album? Are there any specific genres or filmmakers that have influenced you?

Film has definitely been an inspiration. We like the aesthetics of old black-and-white movies, and we have been watching a lot of old noir and Hitchcock movies. We both really enjoy movies from favorites filmmakers like David Lynch, James Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Quentin Tarantino, and Gus Van Sant. Their movies all had an important impact while making the album.

Describe your experience working with Anders Trentemøller. What was his role as producer?

It has been a huge pleasure to work with Trentemøller. We have a very similar taste in music and soundscapes, which has made the work process very easy. We both think he is by far one of the best producers of our time, so it’s has been a great honor to work with him.

In our work process, we would usually finish and record a song so it was basically done. Then we would meet up with Trenremøller in the studio and he would come with inputs and ideas. On some of the songs, we kept them pretty much as they were, and on some of the [other] songs, we changed a lot and he produced it in another direction than how the track was originally.

How has Trentemøller’s involvement affected your visibility?

Trentemøller is a very well-known, respected musician and producer, so there’s no doubt that people who know him are curious about this collaboration, as he has never produced a band before. So of course it has affected our visibility in a positive way.

Do you have any plans to tour next year?  How do you replicate your sound in a live setting?

We are right now building up a new live set-up, with only the two of us and one extra guy. Hopefully, we will get to play many exciting places all over the world. That’s what we are working on right now.

Where do you want to take your music on your next album?

That we haven’t decided yet. We will have to see what comes out once we start.

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