You don’t need to read the bio for Danish artist and songwriter Morten Lava (and if that’s his real name, he’s beyond lucky) to get a handle on the fact that he’s a self-professed ‘musical explorer, who will take you on an atmospheric journey across genres’ or that his music ‘creates an ethereal soundscape’: the song-titles alone convey everything you need to know: ‘In a Daydream’; ‘Head in Clouds’; ‘Cloudburst’ all point to mellifluous sounds, soft-focus and dappled light.
Of course, what these snippets cannot convey is the actual execution, which includes elements of indie and pop. The title track is centred around an acoustic guitar strum and Lava’s voice, which soars and swoops tunefully, the lit of his accent adding a certain extra dimension that’s at once familiar and unusual. And while there’s a delicate synth element, the overall effect is very much more Bastille than A-Ha. ‘Heads in Clouds’ bounces along breezily, but it’s when he strips things right back and gets downtempo, as on ‘How Well Can the Floor be Swept’ that things get particularly interesting. With delicate strings in the background and sounding like Thom Yorke on ‘The Bends’, Lava reveals a focus on nuance that’s truly captivating.
As a debut, it’s a strong offering: so where will Morten go from here?