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Iceage’s critically acclaimed third album Plowing The Fields Of Love saw the bold expansion of their sound and growth of their darkly evocative lyrical vision, described by Pitchfork as “beautiful and ugly at the same time… Iceage have found their own unstable sense of peace” (‘Best New Music’).
Plowing Into The Field Of Love,the third album from Copenhagen’s Iceage was new, bold and forceful. Channeling the rage and emotion of their tempestuous early releases into finely honed musicianship, Plowing Into The Field of Love features piano, mandolin, viola and organ atop Johan Suurballe-Wieth’s razor-sharp guitars and the lolloping, synchronized rhythm section of Jacob Tvilling Pless and Dan Kjær Nielsen. The record has a clear, uncompressed sound, and Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s desperate vocals are out front, nakedly accountable for the words.
On this album, Rønnenfelt sings of what it is like to be out in the world, dizzy with its offerings, perched on a plateau of false confidence, bliss, fantasy and delirious self-denial. The autobiographical “Forever,” for which Iceage have shared the video today, begins with a pretty repetitive motif over the words, “I always had the sense that I was split in two,” and climaxes with a sunburst of horns recalling South African spiritual jazz great Mongezi Feza: “If I could dive into the other, I’d lose myself forever.” At the other extreme, the album evokes a sort of euphoria, especially in the unexpectedly upbeat country number “The Lord’s Favorite.” Yet desperation and loss lurks behind. This is an album about seeing, learning, and rejecting things, in a cycle that repeats and builds. The reference points are wildly varied, but the sound is uniquely and darkly Iceage as the record fights with itself, in the story it tells, and the sound it makes. It is not, however, a remotely difficult record. It is the anthemic sound of a band in motion, unafraid of change, filled with curiosity, musicality and ambition.