Experimental Quartet We Like We’s “Seventeen Days” is a Gorgeously Eerie Slice of Avant-Garde

The Danish group is revered for creating music that's beautiful and challenging all at once, and this track is no different.

Cover photo by Maj Jeanne

As music writers, we’re really into rambling on about ‘genres’ and ‘categories’. It’s for the selfish reason of making our jobs easier: when we can orient something in the realms of electropop or psych or whatever, we can then build a story around everything that genre implies with relative straightforwardness. And then you stumble across something like Danish experimental quartet We Like We, and suddenly realize you have absolutely no adequate way of using language to describe what they do—but that’s what makes their music all the more stunning. We Like We create avant-garde whirlwinds of influences that seem to be picked from genres and moods as wide as opera and electronica. Their new track, “Seventeen Days”, is only the latest proof that their brave canvassing of sounds and emotions is mighty effective, whether you have a taste for the challenging stuff in music or don’t.

When I first heard the track, I immediately imagined it floating over The Handmaid’s Tale as a soundtrack, or perhaps accompanying a character in a dystopian time travel story. With a fittingly desolate video where the four bandmates seem to aimlessly wander around a misty and magical Nordic landscape, the track feels beautiful yet quietly unsettling. In fact, Katinka Fogh Vindelev’s hauntingly operatic vocals make you feel like she’s transmitting troubling premonitions for a near future, or grieving for the chaos of the world today. Maybe I’m just in a particularly doom-and-gloom mood today, but still: as Fogh Vindelev’s vocals swell in intensity over almost abrasively high-pitched violins and cascading classical melodies (everyone in the band is a classically trained musician), you feel as if We Like We drags your rawest emotions up from the bottom of your stomach into your throat. And I mean that in a good way: in just over five minutes, “Seventeen Days” somehow takes you on a poignant emotional journey that’s honestly quite rare to experience with new music.

We Like We have received tons of praise from revered media institutions like Politiken and Berlingske as a group getting avant-garde right, but don’t let the heavy emphasis on ‘avant-garde’ sway you from listening to We Like We. By blending an earthy sensibility with Nordic minimalism and emotional intuition, We Like We make avant-garde accessible and necessary in the Danish musical landscape.

If you dig this, keep your eyes out for their new album, dropping soon through the label German Sonic Pieces.