On ‘Gemini’, Danish trio Boho Dancer strike out as a folk collective with the songwriting quality to last the distance
ranes are a much-loved Portsmouth gothic minimalist band. Their influence is such that erstwhile Manics guitarist Richey Edwards is said to have pressed his colleagues to take their sound down similar harsh, festering roads. Listen to 1994’s Loved and you’ll hear Cranes singer Alison Shaw as a kindred spirit to Edward’s dark poet.
It’s a similar kind of voice – fragile and wispy, yet full of certainty – that is the most immediate quality of Denmark’s Boho Dancer. Ida Wenøe has the same punctuating quality as Shaw, with the sort of voice that could punch through a cloud of custard and pierce thick air. As she delicately rips through the chamber folk of opener Bohemian Child you’re hocked. Boho Dancer though are a less morbid beast than Cranes, with eyes full of hope.
“Like a female-fronted Fleet Foxes, all gorgeous melodies and hanging vocals”
This much is clear from Gemini’s second track, Fictional Reasons. Here they sound like a female-fronted Fleet Foxes, all gorgeous melodies and hanging vocals, with a pulsating bass pulling the track along. The Fleet Foxes-ish loveliness carries on throughout the record, such as in Loving Creatures and The Clerk. There are other influences at play too though, with Caldera hinting at the warbling excellence of Kate Bush and Epicene leaning towards Nick Drake territory. It serves to keep your interest longer than the average folk lovely and suggests a longevity that many folkies currently fail to cultivate.
With the nu-folk movement a particularly crowded arena in modern day listening, Boho Dancer risk being another shadow in the mast of the scene’s major players. It is then a testament to their songwriting qualities that Gemini doesn’t merely drift by, but stands as a fine addition to acoustic-driven music.
Verdict: Acoustic-driven loveliness