Said the Shark
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Said the Shark

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Press


"Album review"

"...it's a subtle and tenderly worked album that they put to sea... Saxell's amazingly beautiful, near-whispering vocal sends tickles and shivers down your spine while Oxlund experiments and cradles the songs with guitar and diverse percussive instruments. Together they create a fragile, trembling super-minimalist universe, where Saxell's breathtaking voice is in the foreground of the simple, sparse, but playful accompaniment.

Not much is happening in the duos airy and dreamy world, but it doesn't really matter because, in it's own crushing, level-headed manner, the stillness never becomes boring and can take you the distance if you really let go, listen, and get devoured by the magical details.

Said the Shark has a disarming nerve and a heartfelt presence while an underlying layer of teasing hesitation holds your interest and pushes you below the dead-calm surface." - Soundvenue Magazine


"Album review"

There are albums that can only be depicted with big and paradoxical phrases. Phrases that will only bring an abstract fog and absurd irritation to the reader's immediate impression of the album in question. Said the Shark's debut album is probably one of these kinds of albums.

We find ourselves on a colossally big block of ice. In the middle of nowhere, our feet are insecurely fastened to a grand, desolate landscape. The sounds echo in what seems like a bordered space. But the borders have disappeared into uncharted fog. Yes, the level of abstraction on the album from the Danish-Canadian duo Said the Shark is at times a bit foggy. But for the curious, there are lots of challenges in this magical music when you're mapping your way through this foggy ice landscape.

Said the Shark is the Danish-Canadian constellation of Windermere member Kim Oxlund and Canadian singer Maya Saxell. With Oxlund's sensibility for electronic snowy landscapes and Saxell's intimately whispering voice, the partnership creates captivating music which can perhaps at times disappear into your livingroom fog. Nontheless, this debut album has something to say. During the 12 songs, a story is told while both the lyrics and the melody are melting together. Time is at stake on this final day on earth's last drifting block of ice. The sound of time going about it's usual business is present in almost all of the songs. Like in the song Runaround where the sound of a gong and the occasional notes of a glockenspiel are counting down to an approaching doomsday. The song Stops to Pull, which is obviously the best track on the album, also offers this hesitating mood. Bass and guitar count the seconds, and in the background the wind ripples in the form of sounds from a saw-blade, which make the kernels in the hourglass fall even faster than planned.

But Always Prattling on About Wolves is far from just being a drifting ice-romance. In songs like December, they turn on the guitar and the drums and show some aggression. Also Said the Shark's use of 60s nostalgia, echo and slide guitar, like in the song All You Want, where the slide guitar is reminiscent of an American highschool ballroom from the past, gives the album depth.

The melodies on the album are usually simple. The few notes and chords are pleasantly disturbing elements on top of a well-constructed and well-produced sound universe. With the active use of all kinds of instruments from the glockenspiel and cello to the slide guitar and countless electronic sounds and samples of real-world sounds, like horseshoes galloping, an impressive sound universe appears. The wholeness of the songs are complete with Saxell's husky voice, performing the well-written lyrics like a softer PJ Harvey. And with the song After You, Saxell is even making a bid at becoming the female version of Leonard Cohen's poetic universe. Saxell's confidential talk goes in a steady monotonous tone, and at time could be more aggressive, but is mostly being rescued in the big sound universe.

Said the Shark delivers a shivering, sensitive, secure and very promising debut album. The layered structure of the music with the bright female voice gives the album a magnetic pull which demands that you listen to it over and over again. It's an album for the patient and attentive listener, who will be rewarded with a new and enlightened experience each time he listens to it. What first appears to be a sad and desolate snowy landscape, is transformed into a revelation of a paradise rich with the finest ice-crystals. - Geiger Magazine


"Live review"

...I returned to the Enna Bella tent for what will, doubtless, remain the most beautiful surprise of Spot 2007: the unexpected showcase of Said the Shark, project of the Canadian Maya Saxell accompanied by Danish Kim Oxlund. Their first album "Always Prattling on About Wolves" had been for me (THE?) musical summit of the year 2006, a disc which has never left the immediate proximity of my stereo since it's release and which I suspect will remain there for a long time. How could one resist these pieces of weightlessness, from the distressing cracks in the voice of Maya Saxell, to the astonishing pointillist landscapes created by Oxlund to present them? The showcase of Said The Shark also satisfied a curiosity, albeit a simple one: to know at last what Maya Saxell looks like. In all their press photos, she manages to hide her face.

Indeed, Maya Saxell resembles her music. She is just as one would like to imagine her to be while listening to her songs: blonde, fine, pale, almost hazy. She stood alone in a vibrant red dress, which seemed to make her intangible. Nevertheless, what presence! Maya Saxell sings almost without budging, a little to the left of the stage, and has a stubbornly fixed look above the heads of the spectators. They are songs of extreme simplicity: a nearly immobilizing tempo, some guitar riffs repeat again and again, and this voice, which almost murmurs, consumes slowly but surely all those that - unconsciously or recklessly - do not fear being devoured. Deprived of some of their studio toys, they were confronted with a daunting task, but Kim Oxlund was satisfied to underline the melodies with a glockenspiel or to add some notes from an acoustic guitar. This is all. And this is simply magnificent. I am incapable of telling you which pieces Said The Shark played there that night (although the sublime "Runaround", I am almost certain, was played), or how much time they spent on stage as I watched without breathing (though I have no doubt that I beat an apnea world record) - in fact, I very nearly forgot to take photographs. I said "nearly". The photographs are the only proof I have that this was not just a dream. - Jean Pierre Moya - Rockomondo Radio show


Discography

Album "Always Prattling on about Wolves" Oct 2006
Album "Silly Killings" March 2008
Radio play:
-KZSU 90.1fm - California, USA
-Radio Primitive 92.4 (Rockomondo) - Reims, France
-2 programs on Radio CKUT - Montréal, Canada
-La Photo Sonore - New Brunswick, Canada
-Denmark's National Radio P3 - Copenhagen, Denmark
and various other radio stations is Denmark.
Songs often played:
1)Runaround
2)All You Want
3)Saintly Friend
4)December

Photos

Bio

News fall 2008

After a successful show at Danish festival Spot 08, Said the Shark was among 15 bands
picked to play a show at ROSA’s prestigious Spot On Denmark arrangement in Belgium in
November. A representative from the renowned VICE Magazine put Said the Shark on the
top three of best shows at the Spot Festival.

Said the Shark also headlined a new British festival called “Lost in the Woods”. In March the
song Shaky Heath was number one on the Danish alternative hitlist “Det Elektriske
Barometer”.


Silly Killings

Said the Shark released their second critically acclaimed album “Silly Killings” on Iwave
Records. In contrast with the first album, which quietly featured only two members of Said
the Shark (Canadian Maya Saxell and Danish Kim Oxlund), several songs on Silly Killings
feature the members of the band who have been playing live together since the first
release (Rasmus Kabelka - bass, Mikkel Langlo Gelting, - drums and Hans Kjelstrup - toddler
drum kit, guitar etc.), as well as a myriad of friends and musicians, including a duet with
Sweden’s Christian Kjellvander. Sometimes soft and quiet and occasionally hammering
noise, Said the Shark have progressed musically on Silly Killings while remaining on their
own path. Much of the album was recorded in a, now demolished, old cabin with creaking
doors, squeaky faucets and rickety floorboards, all of which were recorded and used
throughout the album.

Receiving five star reviews in several Danish publications here are some of the things that
journalists had to say about Silly Killings; WhereToGo Magazine wrote ”Fairytale-esq,
complex and chaotic,” Berlingske Tidende wrote ”strays from the ordinary. Blissful.” and
KBH Magazine wrote: ”Gripping, spellbinding, breathtaking.” Canada’s legendary award-
winning novelist and journalist, David Gilmour, who called them “hauntingly artful” and
praised Maya’s unique lyrics, deeming the songs “elegant”, “poetic”, “truthful” and
“[making] you nostalgic for something you’ve never had.”

Said the Shark’s live show has become more dynamic as well, with five members playing
guitars, orchestral bells, unique percussion, an upright toy piano and a giant metal ring on
a stage lit with 2000 Christmas lights.