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Artist
Smerz
ReleaseProduct
Believer
Label
XL Recordings
Catalogue Number
XL1153HDDS
Release Date
February 26, 2021

Genres

After two superb EPs, a host of multimedia art projects and a monthly residency at NTS, Norwegian duo Smerz already have something of a high profile in experimental electronic music. Ironically, the relative ubiquity of members Henriette Motzfeldt and Catharina Stoltenberg only adds to the allure of their debut full-length, 'Believer' — an LP so audaciously mysterious that it makes us wonder whether we ever truly understood what they were up to in the first place.

‘Believer’ serves as a microcosm of Motzfeldt and Stoltenberg’s approach: electro-industrial textures warp across a booming R&B kick pattern, as a subtle hook invokes the darker fringes of early 2000s hip-hop to the swell of baroque strings. The mood is heavy and humid, and yet the song could easily become a key drop at any left-field club worth its salt. 'Believer' expertly tempers stylistic extremes, teetering into full rave-compliance on ‘I don’t talk about that much’ and blistering with white hot synths on the avant slow jammer ‘Max’. Sultry Destiny’s Child-esque vocals and Rihanna-like bars guide the listener through the deluge, but just when you think you’re starting to get a grip on 'Believer', Smerz throw in a curveball like ‘The Favourite’, a striking cantata with a quietly operatic power.

How Smerz manage to pull off their singular sound is beyond us. But, as their debut album’s title suggests, all they ask is that you believe.

Digital Track List

  1. 1 Gitarriff 2:06 Buy
  2. 2 Max 4:17 Buy
  3. 3 Believer 4:12 Buy
  4. 4 Versace Strings 2:03 Buy
  5. 5 Rain 4:14 Buy
  6. 6 4 temaer 1:53 Buy
  7. 7 Hester 4:54 Buy
  8. 8 Flashing 2:40 Buy
  9. 9 The favourite 1:43 Buy
  10. 10 Rap interlude 0:35 Buy
Show All Tracks 16

Track List

Gitarriff
Max
Believer
Versace Strings
Rain
4 temaer
Hester *
Flashing
The Favourite
Rap interlude
Sonette
Glassbord
Grand Piano
Missy
I don’t talk about that much.

*On LP this track is split across the end of side A and the start of side B

Smerz

XL Recordings

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R&B

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Experimental Pop and New Wave

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