You might’ve noticed that we’re absolutely huge fans of Danish act CHINAH, a trio that warps electropop in ghostly directions while retaining the life-affirming, positive forces that pop music aptly provides. The band’s debut album, ANYONE, arrives this Friday, and to celebrate, we’re sharing “Real Thing?”, a recent single and album highlight.
As with previous ANYONE single “Strange Is Better,” “Real Thing?” puts classic R&B sounds—layered, atmospheric vocals; calming, effervescent synths—through filters that add layer upon layer of mystique and intrigue to the music. As CHINAH frontperson Fine Glindvad lays down her silken, evocative vocals, it almost feels like additional vocal lines are spontaneously branching out from her vocal cords and breaking free as their own entities, entering listeners’ ears as their very own distinct, separate sounds. The song’s vivid combination of vocal elements is as ominous as it is playful, a contrast that’s central to CHINAH’s charm.
Balancing the eerie with the alluring is also among CHINAH’s instrumental staples. A bark-like synth squelch appears every four bars or so across “Real Thing?”, and removed from the context of the song, this noise might sound grating, irritating, or just plain scary. As it appears in “Real Thing?”, it’s certainly jarring, but it’s invigorating, another reason to keep paying attention to the bare-bones array of ultra-thick bass drum, staccato digital handclaps, and pale but haunting synth that Glindvad’s bandmates, Simon Kjær and Simon Andersson, help her to create.
ANYONE is rife with songs this potent. It’s been in the works, we assume, since 2015, since that’s when we first reported on the amazing things that these three can do to R&B and electropop standards. It’s a debut that feels less like a first act and more like a deeply satisfying conclusion to a story that, song by song, has been gradually coming together for years.