Select Captain “Roots”

Independent, 2024

Danish duo are easy on the ear.

Select Captain are Danish duo Kristian Gaarskjær and Søren Vestergaard who, although relatively unknown in the UK have, over the 10 years of their existence, forged a reputation in their native land as a consistently impressive and reliable source of folk/indie fusion. Americana UK has been singing the duo’s praises for almost as long.

Select Captain who released the debut album ‘The Fear and The Lights’ in 2014, originally started out as a solo project for Kristian Gaarskjær but has, in time, developed into a duo with Vestergaard as the second part though Søren has been involved in the project since the beginning as co-writer, guitarist and producer. The musical double was formalized as a duo with the 2020 album, ‘Comes In Waves’, an album described on this site as a “slow-paced and reflective album.”

This latest offering again finds the duo in reflective mode but where that album found Gaarskjær dealing with portrayals of mental health and addiction ‘Roots’ is more upbeat, both musically and in terms of the more positive aspects of life that shape us; love, midlife considerations, becoming a parent, finding a way home, finding peace and finding a way back to your roots and where it all began.

Whilst there are still slower-paced and sparse tracks here like ‘A Closed Book – Wide Open’ and ‘Starlight’ the album in the main has a brisk, up-tempo and joyous feel to it. The tempo is set with the opening two tracks ‘Every Second’ and the album highpoint, title track ‘Roots’ which rattles along at a fair old lick. ‘The Queen’ offers a slightly different approach, the drive and rhythm coming from drums rather than guitar and, as a result, challenges that title track for top billing simply by being just a bit different.

In line with their folk origins acoustic guitar drives much of the content and the album is an easy listen with much to commend it. The flip side to that is, those aforementioned tracks aside, as easy on the ear as they may be, some tracks tend to drift over without making a huge impression. That caveat aside ‘Roots’ is an album to enjoy and, with Gaarskjær currently celebrating the birth of his first child, its upbeat feel seems highly appropriate.

7/10
7/10

About Peter Churchill 180 Articles
Lover of intelligent singer-songwriters; a little bit country; a little bit folk; a little bit Americana. Devotee of the 'small is beautiful' school of thought when it comes to music venues.
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