Danish heroes Iceage are back with their first new music since their excellent fourth album Beyondless; today they’re sharing “The Holding Hand”, their first for new label Mexican Summer. Speaking on the track, the band’s vocalist Elias Bender Rønnenfelt says:
“The song lives in a slurred world, movements are elastically stretched out and strength is found in weakness while you find it hard to tell the difference between fume and matter. Gently the swaying intensifies, feel it escalate. Reach out for the holding hand, it seems almost within scope now.”
This is not the gung-ho version of Iceage but a much more brooding and atmospheric version, as “The Holding Hand” warps the singer’s words into unsettling echoes framed by light tinkling bells, piano and slowly drawling percussion. An extremely slow build, Iceage start to emerge from the shadows with a slovenly gait, as the song moves stoically but imperiously forward. Warped strings colour the atmosphere with more seasick tones, while Rønnenfelt sings of being “in a pipe dream double-crossed.” The band’s more familiar desert rock styling comes to the fore in the song’s finale, which sounds triumphant even as he sings “Knocking on your window is a cavalcade/ Pleading for relief, a call to aid.” In other words, it’s classic Iceage in its doomed heroicism.