New Serena-Maneesh – “Reprobate” (Live On P3tv)

Two albums over ten years is a pace few bands can sustain without falling under the weight of their own perfectionism/strained-band-relations/lethargy. But Serena-Maneesh has always been built like that, a band of friends and siblings serving at the pleasure of mastermind Emil Nikolaisen, a mercurial noise/pop lover who’s been as busy tweaking the finer points of S-M’s long-awaited sophomore set as he’s been producing or playing on a large chunk of the independent rock records that spew from his hometown of Oslo, Norway. In fact the Nikolaisen clan is unavoidable in Oslo: Emil and ghost-of-Nico sister Hilma anchor Serena-Maneesh, brother Ivar fronts the Sunset Strip-styled rock band Silver, and sister Elvira Nikolaisen is a chart-topping pop singer in the Norah Jones mold. Family matters aside, five years after releasing Serena-Maneesh, Emil, Hilma et al are ready to release their title-TBA followup this coming March. Their debut was an exciting set of stormy, black magical clatter and pillowy shoegaze guitars tied to moments of sublime pop release. You could hear Isn’t Anything MBV in it, or you could hear it as a sort of gaze-pop fission, where dissonant clamor and airy pop were two sides of the same coin. It’s good news they’re back, and this live take on new cut “Reprobate” is a good sign for what’s coming.


Serena-Maneesh’s next record is out this march on 4AD. Also worth noting: Here’s a look at Emil’s Oslo.