Very few bands evoke a visceral reaction in me but Serena-Maneesh is one of them. There’s something about their music that touches a place deep and primal within me. It’s dark, it’s scary and it takes you to the inner recesses of your cobweb-filled mind. Listening to their forthcoming sophomore album, “No.2: Abyss in B Minor”, is a sonic thrill ride like that of a horror movie. And I mean that in a good way. It’s heart-racing, sit on the edge of your seat music that at times makes you want to cover your eyes and peek through your fingers because it’s so terrifying yet irresistible. And just when you think you can’t take anymore, when you’ve come to your absolute edge, Elvira comes on with a sweet, soothing ballad to rest your weary nerves. Few albums leave me so emotionally spent, yet satisfied. Cigarette, please.
Serena-Maneesh is the brainchild of Emil Nikolaisen, who is in his own right Norwegian rock royalty. The new album features a variety of collaborators including Sufjan Stevens who plays vibraphone, flute and piano and his own sister, Elvira, who is a pop star in their country . The band is set to embark on a US tour in support of the new album this month and will land at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill on March 23. I’ve got a pair of tickets to giveaway for the show, along with a 12″ vinyl copy of the single “Ayisha Abyss” to the first reader to hit me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come and get ’em!