In the last decade, the American-born Danish musician, Keith Canisius-Baerken, was largely known for being the frontman for dreampop revivalists Rumskib. Now Canisius goes it alone; dangling the carrot of “alternative production techniques” as his USP. Rather brilliantly, despite the slimmed-down approach, Canisius the solo performer sounds more vibrant than ever before.
Right from the outset, ‘Beautiful Sharks’ is a compelling listen. Propulsive rhythms usher in ‘Interesting Corners’, which prepare you for the exhilarating, driving addictiveness of the chorus. The gentler ‘LSD’ rides in on a bed of Kitchens Of Distinction-style vapour trails whereas ‘Juno’ is like listening to a digitally-enhanced Lightning Seeds. As beautiful as the early tracks are, though, Canisius demonstrates the possibilities of his unique approach at the centre of the record with ‘Home By Five’, where one begins to feel overcome by the aura of underwater beauty, or the tremendous ‘The Great White Shark’ as Canisius presents his most endearing melody amongst a plethora of endearing melodies. There then follows a brief lull until ‘Don’t Go Inner Doubt’ recaptures the multi-layered magic from the beginning of the record.
From beginning to end, ‘Beautiful Sharks’ feels like a complete sugar rush as vocals, guitars and effects cascade, swirl and revole into one gorgeous whole. There might be one or two lulls along the way but these only serve to make the emotional swell of the next song all the more powerful and when you’re drowned in this much beauty, you have to come up for air at some point.
Rumskib, Lightning Seeds, Kitchens Of Distinction, AC Acoustics