Of The Wand & The Moon started as a solo-project by Kim Larsen in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1998. He released the debut album “Nighttime Nightrhymes” in 1999 which was a Dark-Folk/Neo-Folk album. He moved on releasing the albums “Emptiness Emptiness Emptiness” (2001), “Lucifer” (2003), “Sonnenheim” (2005) and “The Lone Descent” (2011). He also released several EP’s and singles. It took ten years for Kim Larsen to unleash a new studio album, which has been written and recorded over the past three years. “Your Love Can’t Hold This Wreath Of Sorrow” released by the end of 2021 on Heiðrunar Myrkrunar is a great piece of music. The songs are mixing Dark-Folk/Neo-Folk together with Cinematic music and Jazz, but also a kind of Psychedelic Chanson reminding the 60s. The album is pure magic and according to me one of the best and most poignant productions from the past year. I talked about it with Kim Larsen.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: “Your Love Can’t Hold This Wreath Of Sorrow” is the first new album by Of The Wand & The Moon in ten years. Did you get the feeling everything was said and done, which brought you to work on Les Chasseurs De La Nuit? What does this new album mean to you?
Kim: I feel totally drained after every album I do. Using up all the ideas I have. After “The Lone Descent” there was also a lot of touring. To be honest I don’t want to treat my music as this kind of business plan. One album a year with a couple of good songs and the rest just fillers. And then go tour for the rest of the 6year. Repeat…
I’m sure I could do an album a year with songs that were ok. But I want the new Of The Wand & The Moon-album to be done at the best of my abilities at that moment in time. Making it grow and explore a bit each time.
My Les Chasseurs De La Nuit project is more a thing of experimenting and perhaps getting some old-school Neo-Folk songs out there. That I like. For sure. But not for Of The Wand And The Moon.
Also I did work as Vril Jager and White Chamber between these 10 years. So it’s not like I stopped doing music. Also I did 7inches and re-recordings of Of The Wand And The Moon. But when it comes to the albums I want to do my very best.
Q: Of The Wand & The Moon has been always linked to Neo-Folk although the new album clearly brings other –and sometimes surprising, influences to the surface. It sounds pretty sixties as well reminding me to early stuff of Serge GainsbouRG. Did you get the feeling to reinvent your sound and tell us a bit more about the different influences?
Kim: It is a development that has been on its way for some time. I think those 60s influences got more articulate on “The Lone Descent”. And now even more.
I think it is a thing more of going back in time. To when I was a kid. My dad had a big record collection with mostly Jazz but also rock music. Things I was most taken by in his collection were The Beatles’ albums “Rubber Soul” and “Help”. And also the Serge Gainsbourg single “Je T’aime Moi Non Plus” (and with “Jane B” on the flip side).
So that bass sound has always haunted me. As you can hear on my new album as well. I also used to record movies on my tape recorder from videos we rented or what limited things was on the TV. I remember recording “Escape From New York”. Loved the mood of that movie and the Soundtrack. Those days you couldn’t just buy the Soundtrack. So I would record it from the TV so I could listen to it later. So that aspect of Soundtrack sound also plays a part in my music in general.
Q: One thing is for sure, it sounds as your most diversified and accomplished work to date. Where does this evolution comes from and how do you see yourself as musician evolving throughout the years?
Kim: As I mention I think this stems from my childhood. Things I was listening to etc. Think I will still need to explore that era in time in the following stuff to hopefully come. We will see…
Q: Tell us a bit more about the writing of the album? How did the writing take shape and what have been the different stages to achieve the work? What has been the impact of the guest artists?
Kim: Some things have taken a long time to finish. For instance the song “Love Is Made Of Dreams” was started before the previous album “The Lone Descent”. In the beginning this was a very typical sounding Neo-Folk song. But during time it ended up the way it did. A bit country somehow… Dolly Parton. Please do a cover of this one hehehe…
Actually I was very much in doubt if it should have been on the album. It being so different. However, the other guys in the band persuaded me otherwise and it ended up on the album. I agree now that the song gives a break in the heaviness of the other songs. Though still having pretty bleak lyrics.
Speaking a bit about some of the guest artists. Bo Rande (various horns) I worked with for the first time on “The Lone Descent”. I remember when we did his sessions back then I thought to myself that I would have him playing a lot more on the next stuff I would make. So made a lot of room for him for the new album. He is such a talented musician and can’t praise him enough.
Uffe Lorenzen from Baby Woodrose also delivered vocals on “The Lone Descent”. And thought of his vocals again for the “Barbs Of Time”-song. He agreed and think it turned out beautiful.
Through my good mutual friend I had asked the legendary Danish artist Martin Hall to write the liner notes of the album. During the recordings I couldn’t stop hearing his voice on “Nothing For Me Here”. I asked him if he’d like to do some vocals for it and he heard the exact same thing as me. Very happy this came to fruition as well.
Q: I also noticed an evolution in the lyrical content of the work. What did you try to express and what’s the connection with the album title “Your Love Can’t Hold This”?
Kim: I really don’t want to get into lyrical content as it sometimes destroys the magic. But I guess lyrics and mood got more melancholic rather than the magical, runic and mythological stuff from the earlier albums. Just wanted to be a bit more free and not too locked in expression.
Q: The album has been released in hard times; I’m referring to the ongoing pandemic, which also has a serious impact on artistic activities. How do you as artist experience this tragedy and what’s the impact on your own activities? What’s the importance of music and arts as a kind of cure to this situation?
Kim: The pandemic hit me very hard. As I’m sure it hit everybody.
I usually say to myself that the album I am doing might be the last I’m doing. So I spend all my energy and money on it. We will see if this is that one. Hopefully the new album will do good. There is also a tour planned for April 2022 with Brighter Death Now and hopefully some other shows later on in the year. So we’ll see if brighter days are ahead. Otherwise, Auf wiedersehen, au revoir, goodbye, arrivederci, do svidaniya, adiós, farvel, tot ziens, slán, hamba kahle….
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