Not quite believable, but true: quality indie rock with arena attitudes can be found even in Greenland, the cold and inhospitable autonomous Danish territory with a population of hardly above 55 000 people. Small Time Giants and their debut album “Stethoscope” are a shining proof of that statement!
The record came out in 2014 and straight away received a lot of recognition in Greenland and Denmark where the band is based. Despite the typical for a debut album room for improvement, “Stethoscope” is one of those records that you come to appreciate more and more over many consecutive listens.
We’re being introduced by the perfectly gentle opening track “CPR” which then transitions into the single unusually titled “<3 > </3” (“Heart Beats A Broken Heart”). “<3 > </3” is the most upbeat song on the record, and its early 2000’s Snow Patrol vibes showcase a neat summary of what Small Time Giants are all about.
Some will notice that Small Time Giants’ style resembles that of Placebo. Miki Jensen’s clear vocals really do remind of young Brian Molko, especially in the atmospheric “Undiscovered Potential” and “A Basement With A View”.
Minimalistic ballads “Black Box” and “Lights Off” stand out, too. Both focused on vocals, they sound heartbreakingly sad but carry a hopeful message.
The closing track, “All Hope Abandon”, is rather dark and unsettling but definitely the most special: 8 minutes long and almost a capella at some points, it tells us a story of passengers on a sinking ship. It was inspired by an actual tragic event: such ship really did sink in 1959 near the band’s hometown and took 95 lives with it. The Morse code in the song was the crew’s last message.
“Stethoscope” is the perfect album to accompany you on a long melancholic walk as you get lost in thoughts and ideas. Give it a listen and certainly keep Small Time Giants on your radar. Discovered or not, there’s so much potential!
Guest Blogger: Marie Vinther