A year after the touring plans for their outstanding debut album ‘Sagrada Família’, were crushed by the pandemic, Gothenburg based act Damen had plenty of time to ruminate and record. The four of them bring five angsty indie alt-rock tracks that carry hallmarks of pandemic-induced self-reflection and frustrations.

‘Brightside’ sits somewhere in between live shoegaze and timeless indie alt-rock. The raw rhythm section provides a driving impetus, over which smooth guitars melt and build harmonic tension over the intro, leaving listeners on edge (reminiscent of early DIIV records). The instrumentation sinks back down and makes space for frontman Danial Bin Ismail Ärlig’s cynical lyrics, creating a tense atmosphere that propels towards a euphoric, exhilarating chorus (think Kings of Leon, The Amazons).

The band, ‘Brightside’ “speaks about empty promises. Over the six years we´ve been a band we have come across a bunch of colourful people that wanted to work with us and promised big things but it usually faded into nothing. Brightside is about my childish naivety towards people.”

Damen’s booming drums, brooding bass, euphoric choruses, reverb-drenched guitars and knack for catchy, contemplative lyrics makes one nostalgic for the catharsis of live music. The EP is one that would just as easily see a bunch of teens going ham in the basement of some obscure venue as well as send a crowd of casual festival-goers scrambling for their phones to find out who on earth Damen are whilst they hang around the main stage waiting for the headliners.

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