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Pop band Schorl3


Jonas Klimaschewski

Album of the week:

You can't really get more Hamburg-Niendorf than this band. The trio has their studio in the rather cozy district north of the city, where they have been producing very cute and dreamy pop since 2020. You can easily imagine the two music specialists Anton Krogmann and Johannes "Hannes" Ellerbrock as well as singer and songwriter David Elias Ehoulan alias LMO hanging out in the Tibarg shopping mile in the afternoon and contemplating the girls like Fanta 4 once did on the Killesberg in Stuttgart. “Die da” was called “Pia” at Schorl3 (i.e. Schorle, as in wine, not apple) three years ago, and the glittering pop song of the same name became a minor hit in the scene. The accompanying album was called “Sprudelpop” at the time, a very fitting name for the Schorl3 sound.

It's actually something special in the German pop world, because Schorl3, a crazy idea born after a night of partying, sound a bit like the suburbs on the one hand, but also very international on the other, even though they sing in German. Their music is trendily based on introverted noughties role models such as The Whitest Boy Alive and The xx. There is also a contemporary hip-hop vibe and danceable electronics with modern R&B influences and a bit of eighties vibe (A-ha, Double, etc.). It's hard to imagine that it sometimes sounds like Cro is suddenly making cool music.

It's better to stick with The xx as a blueprint, and not just because the Londoners also performed as a trio. However, there is no trace of queerness at Schorl3 so far, but the music on their third album is even closer to the intimate bedroom pop feelings that became popular around 15 years ago. Not only does the self-digestion cycle of pop music dictate that the noughties must come again now, the gloomy world and political situation also encourages you to snuggle up as much as possible. So Schorl3 are hitting a nerve when they tailor their album entirely to heartbreak this time, apart from all the previous irony games and pop garlands.

»We make music so that you can have a good time. So that for a moment you don't have to think about anything except dancing and feeling," the band once said in an interview. At that time, their second album with the quaint title "Penguins are also just panda birds" had just been released, on which there were also humorous spontaneous interjections like “I hate everything.” But now things are getting serious.

“Songs for You” brings together the melancholy thoughts of a poor, heartbroken fellow who presses his forehead against the rain-soaked window and wonders how everything could have gone so wrong. The view (Tibarg!) is as dreary outside as it is inside. If the protagonist in Schorl3's most popular song "Oncoming Traffic" wanted to run into it on the open road in 2021 before he had to hang out with his lover's do-gooder hypocrite friends (presumably Pia), now it's obviously all over, the hot love is over. Now he would even follow her to the ice-cold “South Pole/Northern Lights” if he could only get her back.

The tonality fluctuates between depressive cloud rap in tracks like “Easy” or “Too Different,” through which ghostly beats hiss and throb, and more lively, playful pop like “Do you like me,” which purrs in response to exactly this hungover, mumbled question: “Tell me, do you like me?” It rarely gets louder, more urgent, or musically more complex, for example in “I'm fine and soo”.

But that's no problem. The charm of Schorl3 lies in its immediacy and, for a change, a pleasant, Niendorf-bourgeois pedestrian zone harmlessness. For once, the urban and crass don't play a role here. Emotional states that everyone is familiar with are set to contemporary music with casual melancholy, without it becoming too deep or profound - but also not misogynistic or macho. It's the return of the softies beyond the monotony of song poets and Annenmaykantereit mumbling: Many people could probably agree on Schorl3 this year.

Singer and rapper LMO, whose lyrics are a cuddly character like Sesame Street Elmo, also knows how to address the metamedia-influenced Generation Z. »I have 100,000 words in my head that need to come out. But I can only express seven of them at the moment," he sings in "Netflix": "What's the password for your Netflix account, because 'Dating Around' is on right now." Maybe he can learn something there, he says to himself, " about Us. About you. About me. About people who are in love per se.” In “Overhaupt,” he, a lonely stalker staring at his cell phone, wonders whether she even reads his messages anymore. To be continued, for sure.


Listened briefly:

Olli Schulz – “From the Edge of Time”

Olli Schulz is, of course, one of the people who practically invented the cuteness in German indie pop. The singer/songwriter, who also comes from Hamburg, is now less known as a sensitive bard, but rather as a TV comedian and Böhmermann's buddy and counterpart in the podcast "Fest & Fluschig". “Vom Rand der Zeit”, his new album after a long break, is also a kind of self-edification after the strenuous years in the cynical media circus. “It's time for our hearts to bloom again, just like that,” he sings at the beginning, without any irony. "It wouldn't feel right for me to make socially critical songs that point out how shit everything is," Schulz recently said, adding that it was his album full of hope for better times. A slight hangover about what will probably remain of the fame and limelight still creeps into beautiful ballads like the title track or “Highly Flied”. And when Schulz melancholically begins to scold the media in “Wrongly Told” because we press fuzzies haven't understood what it really is like, then this old Hamburg shark shows his teeth. Because he has it, even if he swims very gently through mild songwriter waters. Old friends will remember: If you break his heart, he'll break your legs.


Kali Malone – “All Life Long”

A rare moment of quiet devotion could be experienced last week in Berlin's Memorial Church when Kali Malone gave a concert on the 6,000 pipes of the Schuke organ. The Stockholm-based organist and composer was a guest at the CTM festival for electronic and experimental music, which was stressed by the senseless “Strike Germany” cancellations but, as always, excellently curated. Her husband, Stephen O'Malley from Sunn O))), also sat down with her at the keys for some of the pieces. It was sweet how the two of them sat so harmoniously next to each other on the bench and played, while the illuminated glass window tiles by Gabriel Loire suggested to the viewer in the late evening an eternal autumn afternoon twilight. Malone played some stripped-down pieces from her new album, where her highly repetitive and meditative neo-church music is supported by a choir and brass. This helps the transcendental effect of their sacred drone sound immensely, especially since you can make it even louder on your home system (or via headphones) than in a house of worship in order to achieve the necessary level of immersion. So you listen to every note stretched out into eternity, immersing yourself in the majesty of the sound that dispels the tumult of everyday life. "Passage Through The Spheres", the programmatic opening piece of the album, contains a text from the essay "In Praise of Profanation" by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, in which he pleads for the preservation of mysticism and holiness in a secularized world: faith, love, organ .


Chelsea Wolfe – “She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She”

The US musician Chelsea Wolfe has already been through a lot: dark Americana folk, goth rock and anthemic doom metal - and now, at 40, also her alcohol addiction, which she says she suffered from since she was eleven. Your new album will therefore also contain music in which the past self shakes hands with the present self, which in turn shakes hands with the future self. Understood? It should be about “freeing yourself from situations and patterns that hold you back in order to empower yourself. It’s an invitation to explore your own authenticity,” says Wolfe. But instead of relying on musical reduction, she chooses the means of artificialization that points to the future tense. Trip-hop beats (“Tunnel Lights”) and industrial rock dominate the sound. In "Whispers In the Echo Chamber" she begins by crawling towards her own abyss with long, scratching nine-inch fingernails, while chainsawing guitars train for a massacre. Is there redemption at the end? The chains are still rattling in the heavy bluesy closing track “Dusk”. “Don’t give me up,” Wolfe barges. All right.