When: Mon., Aug. 15, 9 p.m. 2016
The sparse Copenhagen duo of Joakim Nørgaard and Anton Falck Gansted are perhaps better off cloaked in the enigmatic mystique in which they seem to revel. A mix of chilling, harrowing electro and submerged pop hooks—ones that bubble up from beneath the pair’s barren, sullen vocal melodies—the young First Hate are best defined by their recent six-song EP The Mind of a Gemini (Escho), no doubt because it’s the most expansive of the duo’s very small handful of releases. Though stern in approach, with Nørgaard and Gansted laying out icy ’scapes that sometimes allude to Carpenter-era soundtracks, the record contains several moments of colorful flourishes, like during “Warsawa,” when chirping synths whirl around the wistful lines “Look into my eyes / I’m speaking without words / ’Cause I could never say / The words my eyes say.” There are several stark, baritone Ian Curtis-like ruminations (“White Heron”), but the more the EP spins, the easier it is to pick out subtle harmonies and textured chapters of sophisticated songwriting. First Hate seem to have already caught up to the hype in Copenhagen, and if they stay the course, I imagine it’s just a matter of time till they do so in the States too.