Back in October the Norwegian art-pop duo Smerz dropped a couplet of compelling bite-size tracks and suggested that a new project called Believer was on the way. Today they have finally revealed that Believer is their debut album, which will be arriving on February 26 via XL.
They’ve also shared the album’s title track, saying: “The lyrics for this song were written over a period of almost two years, so it ended up having a natural development parallel to our lives.”
At four minutes, this is one of the most substantial Smerz songs to date – and they make it count. With percolating distortion forming the quivering core while grinding atmospherics provide an imposing beat, “Believer” is a stark and engrossing track, where Henriette Motzfeldt and Catharina Stoltenberg dominate. Lyrically they roam through reflections on connection and commitment, but this is no warm embrace – it’s a song of determination and imposing confidence. As the sly violin snakes its way in, “Believer” becomes an intimidatingly cinematic track, ensnaring you in simple but strong sonic tendrils, as Smerz entice you deeper into their warped world.
Listen to “Believer” on streaming platforms or watch the video, which is directed by Benjamin Barron, with costumes by Bror August.