As obvious as it may be, but the Danish music scene is often overlooked. However, we would like to change that by introducing you to Halcyon Hope. Formed in Odense four years ago, the quartet consisting of Miki Petersen (vocalist/guitarist), Nicolaj Rosander (vocalist/bassist), Jacob Meldgaard (guitarist), and Thomas Thøger Barlach (drummer), came together having played alongside each other in other bands. Through their diverse background ranging from pop-punk to post-hardcore, Halcyon Hope has developed a sound that is reminscent of the favourable pop-punk/emo sound of the mid-2000s.
“When we started Halcyon Hope, I think it was a great bonding experience that we all loved that scene. I think we’ll always be rooted in this scene, but I don’t think the term pop-punk/emo entirely covers our style” states Nicolaj with Miki adding, “we do not like being tied to one genre of music specifically. Though we are inspired by the 2000s scene, we would very much like to think that we are in the moment and feel that we put our own twist on emo/punk rock. We’re also very into bands like Brand New and Biffy Clyro. They are very interesting bands in terms of their approach to songwriting, and even though they are also probably rooted in this scene, merely calling them "punk rock” wouldn’t really do them justice.“
Nevertheless, Halcyon Hope’s debut album, ‘Onward To Fracture Town’ is 12 slices of melodic emotional punk that takes you on coming of age journey. "For me it deals a lot with perseverance, carving your own way in life and about the love of life” explains Miki, “Even though being a musician and the lifestyle can be hard at times, it is also very much a rewarding path. If you surround yourself with the right people – you’re able to continue and express yourself through music. I am blessed with people in my life I them love very much. My wife and kid who keep me grounded. All of these things are translated into the songs lyrically.”
‘Onward To Fracture Town’ is certainly a collective effort and an emotional release for joint vocalist Miki and Nico. “To some degree, I think we will always write about how it feels to be in a band and have the desire to bring your music to an audience,” says Rosander. “This album contains some of the most personal lyrics I have ever written and tackles stuff like divorce, death and family. It’s the first time I’ve been in a band where I’ve felt compelled to write about such personal things.”
Although many songs on ‘Onward To Fracture Town’ focus on negative aspects, opening track, ‘Against The Wall’, shines with positivity and today Already Heard is premiering the track. Alongside the previously released ‘Fawn’, ‘Against The Wall’ shows what Halcyon Hope are all about; upbeat harmonies, duel vocals wrapped up in a melodic punk core.
Miki told us how the track naturally came together, “it was one of the last songs we wrote for the album. And where the other songs were a little more time-consuming, this one really had an easy flow to us. It might be the way that we musically have aligned throughout the album process, but it just felt very organic writing that song. And we really like how it turned out and we can’t wait to get it out there. We’ve been playing it live on tour and we really feel a positive reception from people.”
Whilst Nico talked us through the lyrical tone of the track, “we set out to write about a positive topic, so it ended up being a kind of love song. Not necessarily a love song about a person, it could also be anything else in your life that you love. I think the song really nails that "punch-in-the-stomach”-feeling that you experience when you fall in love with something or someone. That feeling of not being in control, but still enjoying every moment of it.“
‘Onward To Fracture Town’ is released on October 7th and follows a two-leg tour of Europe although there are no plans for the quartet to visit the UK, as Nico tell us, "touring the UK is absolutely the dream, however, it’s a little harder to organise. There are so many great bands from the UK, even to the point where it seems that the interest for bands from outside of the UK is low. But let’s hope we can change that!”
It’s a change that does seem to be in effect as the pair tell us about numerous Danish acts; Daycare for Jedi, Siamese, A Road To Damascus, Evra, Odd Palace and Ghost Iris, with Nico pointing out the success electropop artist MØ, “She’s actually from the same town as us, and used to play in a punk band (mor – mother in Danish) back in the day, as far as I know. I think Miki actually went to one of their shows,” with Miki adding “It was very cool and her stage antics were already present back then.”
Even though the release of ‘Onward To Fracture Town’ is fast approaching, Halcyon Hope are already looking ahead as Nico departs by telling us “Right now the plan is to promote this album and play a lot of live shows, but we’re already looking to the future. We have a lot of undeveloped ideas floating around, so it’s just a matter of deciding to get it down on tape.”
As cliché as it is to say, but having produced a set of warm, neatly crafted songs on ‘Onward To Fracture Town’, Halcyon Hope have all the right ingredients to break out of their overlooked scene.
‘Onward To Fracture Town’ by Halcyon Hope is released on 7th October on Prime Collective.
Have a new video or song you’d like to premier on Already Heard? If so contact Sêan Reid to find out more.