Next Wave #626: OOFJ

The OST to your sexy nightmares...

Despite inhabiting the hills of East LA, where palm trees line sunset boulevards, OOFJ opt to live in darkness. "We call our house 'the bunker', and let no light in during the day," explains Jenno (Bjørnkjær, from Denmark). His West Coast co-habitant and girlfriend, Katherine Mills-Rymer, also forms the other half of the band. "I mean it's a bit of a joke now", she explains, "since I come from South Africa which is super hot a lot of the year, and bright. Which I basically hid from in my room watching films, avoiding beaches."

But external surroundings don't shape this duo's musical output (most of debut album 'Disco to Die' was cooked up in a Swiss chalet.) In fact, the sweeping symphonia and creeping strings in their tracks have the potential to transform your car trip to Tesco into something Polanski-directed. While Katherine's soprano shape-shifts between something sickly-sweet and more sinister. "I like the idea of the music making life more like you're living in your own novel," reveals Katherine. While for Jenno it's best in the bathroom. "Showering before going out to our music is great, maybe, it's slinky – a normal yet sexy thing to do" he says.

The cinematic quality to their work is hardly accidental; the couple met in NYC while Jenno was scoring Lars von Trier's 'Melancholia'. They're naturally huge film buffs, too. "We watched NightCrawler last night," Jenno says. "I know a film is good when it makes me uncomfortable. If it's hard for me to watch, then it's very well made. I get embarrassed easily. And Jake Gyllenhaal has a very cringey thing going on." Though there's many to choose from, Katherine's favourite film score is Rosemary's Baby. "The 'La la la' theme terrifies me and makes me cry. Actually, I was watching Pretty in Pink for the first time a few days ago.. and that movie has such a soft heart – the pop score makes me want to live in it and be an American teen, and make out with James Spader while he rolls his eyes."

You'd think, perhaps, that this amorous and sonic fusion might get tricky – or messy, at times. But the duo see it through a somewhat different lens. "The romantic and human intimacy is very good for creating things – there's only a small distance to transmit ideas to each other," Katherine stresses. Jenno nods. "We can work whenever we need to… get the business side done efficiently, and creatively we are a perfect fit."

As well as sounding like something you'd say when you stub your toe, their moniker stands for Orchestra of Jenno, whose musical background has informed their live setup now. "Improvisation in the set is interesting and a bit intimidating, but Jens comes from jazz so I think he can't not improvise," explains Katherine. "We're working out the light and visuals for the shows too. How to make the light look like the sound, and get inside the viewer."

'Acute Feast' titles their upcoming full-length, which the pair can barely contain their excitement for, that features the feverishly-received singles 'Snakehips', 'You're Always Good' and 'I Forgive You'. "We just looked at the vinyl test print. Our designer Hannes Bernard is a genius!" gushes Katherine. "It reminds me of HAL from 2001 Space Odyssey. Which is exciting."

Words: Felicity Martin

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WHERE: LA
WHAT: Dark pop for widescreen fantasties
GET 3 SONGS: 'Snakehips', 'You're Always Good', 'I Forgive You'
FACT: The sun hurts Katherine's eyes. "I like the light of warm bulbs in lamps versus the 12 to 4pm sun that flattens and kills the roundness of things," she says. ("You sound very gothy," says Jenno.)

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