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Artist
Smerz
ReleaseProduct
Believer
Label
XL Recordings
Catalogue Number
XL1076LP
Release Date
26 febrer 2021

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.

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  1. 1 Believer 4:12
  2. 2 The Favourite 1:43
  3. 3 Rap interlude 0:35

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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