‘Konkylie’ Track By Track

When Saints Go Machine talk debut album

Danish band When Saints Go Machine release their debut album, ‘Konkylie’, on !K7 Records on 6th June 2011. You can listen to it before release on ClashMusic HERE and get an inside perspective on the songs on the album in the band’s track by track guide below.

Konkylie was a turning point for us as a band. During the process of making this song we knew that we were moving towards something new. One half of Konkylie was recorded in the forest on a summer night, and the other half inside a city tunnel in December. Sort of like the journey we made in putting the album together, except we made it all the way back to summer again. Far away from everything else, grasshoppers and lightning bolts made the song for us.

Church & Law
We spent a week recording classical instruments in an enormous studio, and the following weeks completely tearing them apart. Until every part of the song was connected to each other. We felt slightly overwhelmed, but fearless, in that process. That’s what churches and laws will do to you.

This song started out as a bad dream and ended up like a weightless merry go round For some time we didn’t know in what direction the song was heading but when I finished the verse parts we all felt like this was exactly how it was supposed to sound. Actually the words for this song are the last ones written for the album.

This was the first track we started working on and one of the last to finish. It started with it’s basic groove. We kept adding and amplifying what was going on, but in the end we went back to that groove. I wrote the lyrics in my brother’s apartment in the New York, overlooking the railway and the silver trains.

The Same Scissors
We had been working on this song for a long time adding a lot of layers and different parts, but we weren’t satisfied with any of them. One night in the studio we opened the arrangement and unmuted all the tracks we had been working on a while back. We had forgotten about all these layers and actually only wanted to listen to whatever was left in the messy arrangement and it felt like every track we unmuted fitted perfect together with the song and that’s how the song made itself. It funny how distance and a clear mind works.
There is a part made from the voices of tourists complaining about their check in a Spanish restaurant, with Simon sitting nearby recording them. They have no idea what they set off.

Jonas and I started working on this one afternoon. I was eager to hear it loud, finished up the lyrics the same day so Silas and Jonas could dj it five hours later. If you listen closely you can hear my brother doing the dishes in the background. The arrangement was made solely on intuition, we accepted the random coincidences on every recording like dishwashing on the vocal tracks and strange clipped voices and kept the lead vocals from the very first take.

Kelly felt just right from the start. Her future is exactly as imperfect as ours, but at least she’s dancing. To an uptempo track, which in reality is very slow. It is practically impossible not to move around to this song. This song is made from sketches of at least three different arrangements and it was funny trying to keep everything really simple and deleting stuff around the vocals, making it this monotone groove based song from all these tracks.

On the Move
If music was dust I think it would sound like this. We ran every single role through a chain of old machines controlling one each and ultimately, it sounded like this. If I could have my way this song would last 45 minutes on the record.

Whoever Made You Stand so Still
Most of the songs were two years in the making but this song was finished almost before we started working on it. The lyrics wrote themselves while Jonas were messing around with the production and I actually recorded them laying in bed holding the microphone because we didn’t even get around to setting up a Mic stand. It contains a lot of details and throughout the song the BPM increases to double tempo. We wanted the song to seem like a small journey that ended up in the same place as the beginning of the song and we had already set our minds on changing the tempo. To make that work we had to double the speed of the song. We really had a lot of fun during the making of this song.

Add Ends
Add Ends was the most difficult song of all. Its topic is very important to me. While the rough sketch for the track didn’t scare me, the process was very intimidating. It took me long periods of time away from the song, dealing with the subject matter instead. Back and forth, countless iterations with melody and wording. Eventually, the song took a lot of weight off my shoulders.
We made the composition for the whole song with a single synthesizer and later dubbed every role with live strings in the studio. A lot of work, but we really love the outcome.

Listen to ‘Konkylie’ HERE and pre-order the album from iTunes HERE.

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