Albumtracks as mp3 (official band site)
Under Byen's page at MySpace (mp3 streams)
Albumtracks as stream (French label Telescopic)
Stream of the "Stof" album (Paper Bag Records)
Liveshows as stream (Dutch VPRO radio)
århus:nu interview (in Danish. Needs Flash to run)
Rockomondo interview (in English)
Cucamonga interview (in English - text version)
"Plantage" music video (Needs Flash to run)

The short description:
Unique poetic rock and pop with folky, jazzy and classical elements and sensitive female vocals. Ethereal acoustic soundscapes done with a wide range of instruments.


Photo: Mads Vraa / Whitenoise

A quick introduction:

When fairytales explode

Under Byen is an eight piece band that mix the gentle with the raw. Reigning from Denmark's second-largest city, Århus, they produce their own unorthodox interpretation of rock music.

Their qualities especially become evident at their spellbinding live shows where they create a symbiosis between elven fairytale fragility and massive rock energy. Sometimes soft as the wind, other times sharp as a rock. The intimate versus the extrovert. It is in this space that their musical magic emerges. Under Byen seem most at ease walking on thin ice - believing that their talent will keep them above water. And it does.

Under Byen (which is Danish for "Below The City") don't use guitars. Instead their soundscape is dominated by piano, cello, violin, electrically distorted saw, organ, drums and percussion - to great effect. A somewhat different vein of rock (or pop) spiced up with jazzy, folky and classical elements. This is a band to be heard, simply because they defy satisfactory explanation.

The Danish lyrics are an important part of Under Byen, but the sound of the vocals alone will give the listener at hint of their poetic universe. When senior editor at Rolling Stone, David Fricke, experienced the band live in Denmark in 2002 he said: "Under Byen were fantastic. Of course I didn't understand a word of the lyrics - but that didn't matter at all."

The 1999 debut album "Kyst" immediately impressed the music critics, who applauded the band for creating their own style and tone. The second album "Det er mig der holder træerne sammen" (2002) was equally praised and has grown to become a hallmark for the band and helped reach a wider audience in Denmark and elsewhere. In 2004 it was re-released outside Denmark.

Far from being a mainstream act Under Byen has nevertheless attracted a growing devoted fanbase following the release of their two albums and intense live shows.

Under Byen's influences are very diverse. Leadsinger Henriette Sennenvaldt has been quoted as saying she was inspired by traffic. And if "Kyst" would be said to have a theme it would probably be water and harbours. They rarely cite any direct musical influences, but on occasion band members have expressed their fondness for artists such as Stina Nordenstam, Björk, Tori Amos, Sigur Rós, Tom Waits, Mogwai, Mark Hollis and Talk Talk. And the attentive listener might find elements of these hidden here and there in Under Byen's music.

Text by Lars Kjær Dideriksen. Appeared in altered form on the site Supertanker.


Press clips, awards and nominations
Where to buy Under Byen (Shopping guide)


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