It’s not hard to see what lead singer Ida Wenoe is getting at through attributing ‘a melancholic Nordic vibe’ to her band Boho Dancer, who’ve just released their debut album. There is sweetness in the melancholy however, as Gemini succeeds in appealing to the inner child within all of us, an amalgamation of tales that both enchant and enthrall.
Originally hailing from Denmark, the trio (Ida Wenoe, Simun Mohr and Asker Bjork) have garnered a considerable following over there and over here, even managing to secure a slot at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival during the summer. Therefore it’s no surprise that Gemini is something of a triumph, combining a masterful control of instrumentation with mesmerising lyrics and vocals. Predominantly responsible for these is Ida Wenoe, who, in Gemini’s opening track encourages listeners to ‘crawl from stone to stone and feel like a Bohemian child’, with accompaniment in the form of eerily simple guitar and percussion. Wenoe’s voice is frequently joined by those of Mohr and Bjork, perhaps most notably in Like Rain, leading to some beautifully warm harmonies.
A particular gem is Fictional Reasons, which features an abundance of catchy ‘ahs’, almost reminiscent of Slow Club’s earlier work. This, along with Martin, with its memorable chorus packed full of imagery (e.g. ‘there’s a morning somewhere under my skin’) and rhymthic guitar plucking, is a real highlight of Gemini for me personally. Interspersed amongst these are a selection of slower and quieter tunes, such as the title track Gemini and also The Clerk, which follows just after. These work to give the album a delightful sense of balance, culminating in ‘Waiting on a summer (never to come)’ to conclude on an moving note indeed. As the track goes on, it becomes increasingly unadorned as Wenoe’s singing gives way to something more comparable to speaking. A lack of instrumental accompaniment complements the raw emotion that Boho Dancer have managed to express not just in this final track, but also across Gemini in its entirety.
A splendid album for those misty winter days, Boho Dancer’s Gemini boasts a sound far more advanced than that which one would expect from a debut album, and I can see a real place for their haunting folk-pop melodies among the likes of equally brilliant artists such as First Aid Kit and Fleet Foxes.