New Music to Know: Lemaitre Brings Indie-Pop Sensibilities & Some Scientific Theories to the Dance Floor
By Courtney E. Smith
The music of Lemaitre isn’t easy to categorize. That’s because the Norwegian duo’s sound, in the tradition of bands like Phoenix and Daft Punk, is planted firmly at the intersection of dance, indie and pop, and like those two bands, easily straddles all three of those worlds.
The duo, Ulrik Denizou Lund and Ketil Jansen, have now relocated to Los Angeles and are still working on a full-length album, but on July 22 they’ll drop Singularity, the latest in a series of EPs they’ve been releasing since they first formed in 2010.
The EP includes guest spots from Chuck Inglish of the Cool Kids on “All I Need” and LOLO on “Wait,” while the track “High Tide,” has already garnered a good deal of attention.
You should be warned before listening though, that “High Tide” is not a love song. Lemaitre strive to write songs that will get played at parties, but they steer clear of typical subject matter.
“We try not to write songs about love, and we definitely are not writing songs about partying, because that’s lame to make a song about partying that you play at a party,” says Lund.
So in Lemaitre’s music there’s no love, no partying and, it turns out, no samples. This became the rule after the guys realized how expensive clearances would be. Instead, the duo now make their own samples.
“It’s really creatively fun to be like, ‘We want that kind of sound,’” Lund says. “And try to emulate that sound making, like, just a four-bar loop trying to sound like a ’70s recording. And then just f–k with it.”
They’ve become wildly successful in the digital sphere, accumulating millions of views for their atmospheric tracks on YouTube, so they clearly connect. But those just dipping a toe into the waters of their work should know, they’re not just a dance act full of samples and bravado. They are songwriters.
For proof, look no further than the acoustic session of “Cut to Black,” filmed on a sailboat.
Lund and Jansen took their band name from the Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest and physics professor best known as the man who first proposed the theory of the expanding universe, aka the Big Bang theory. And their music also delves into the great unknown.
“There are so many cool terms [in science writing],” Lund told Radio.com. “A lot of the songs like ‘Splitting Colors’ and ‘Blue Shift,’ it sounds cool and we like that it also has a meaning behind it.”
“There are a lot of great metaphors to use as well, for imagery,” Jansen added, explaining that all the song titles are scientific theories including “Blue Shift,” which he says is “something coming closer to you and you measure the doppler shift in color.”
“I doubt most people get it, but some people do and understand what I’m singing,” Lund said. “Most get a lot of things wrong [but] as long as they get the picture, it’s fine.”
Lemaitre’s Singularity EP is out on July 22. The guys will tour the U.S. this summer, with the first date coming the same day as the EP’s release.