REVIEW: Oh Land – Wish Bone

wishbone-coverIf your mind’s in the gutter like ours is, the term Wish Bone conjures up all manner of images. And having looked at the album cover for Danish electro-pop merchant Oh Land’s (Nanna Oland Fabricius to her mum) new album, we think she’s probably on our page. It’s playful, seductive, fierce, and basically everything we enjoy in a popstar; it’s also the perfect description for the album itself.

The opening track, Bird in an Aeroplane, should be enough to convince you of an investment. There’s a swooning, soaring chorus like an avian itself, a low-key start but at least a refreshing whiff of something that isn’t EDM or grotty faux-electro. Lead single Renaissance Girls’ machine-gun delivery is pure charm, balanced immediately by the slow beauty of Cherry on Top and 3 Chances, which are all about Fabricius’ vocal strength (though it doesn’t quite work on the disappointing Sia co-write, Green Card). There are few acts who can successfully balance the drama of Kill My Darling with the acoustic, almost Nashville style of Love You Better side-by-side.

It’s this ebb and flow that makes Wish Bone a stronger album than most of its genre counterparts. Love A Man Dead and Pyromaniac go back to the eccentric pop we recognise, but it’s offset by Next Summer, the closest electro-pop gets to a piano lounge. And of course, part of the fun with Oh Land are the bat-shit lyrics of Shakira proportions. Renaissance Girls, for example (“Having three kids and still remain a virgin”), or the entirety of My Boxer: “I’ve got a boxer / Living in my ear / And he hits a drum / is that weird?” Yes, love. Yes it is.

Even though we’ve had massive issues with Dave Sitek in the recent past (primarily when it comes to our beloved Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the man has redeemed himself with Wish Bone. The production never takes over Fabricius’s warm quirks, and what stands out is that every single chorus is big and brilliant and melodramatic. It’s a welcome addition to the Scandi-pop canon, from which certain other acts could certainly learn a thing or two.