The Sentimentals
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The Sentimentals

Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark | SELF

Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark | SELF
Band Folk Rock




"Texan Matt Harlan goes Danish and records, in just one day, a masterful roots music gem"

Texan singer-songwriter Matt Harlan hasn’t made it to our little island yet, but when he does I guarantee he’ll rapidly become an audience favourite and thence, a regular visitor. Matt has already captured Europe having toured there annually in recent years, and last autumn the Texan recorded his sophomore solo album in Denmark supported by touring companions/local combo The Sentimentals. The latter trio, formed around eight years ago, has similarly supported the legendary Dana Cooper and the estimable Jonathan Byrd on tours of Scandinavia and Europe, and is composed of solo recording artist in his own right MC Hansen (acoustic, electric guitars, lap steel, harmonica), Jacob Chano (drums, percussion) and Nikolaj Wolf (bass).

The making of BOW AND BE SIMPLE turned out to be something of an impromptu affair, with eight of the songs being recorded on the final day of August last year. Matt’s Long Ride Home, which in all probability planted the seed for this collection, was captured in a Copenhagen studio during Harlan’s late 2010 Danish tour. In the role of songwriter Matt’s name is appended to eight titles, three being co-writes, while the ninth selection is a cover of Hansen’s ballad Baby Blue. The latter tune appeared on Hansen’s (triple disc set) TRILOGY 3 (2011), and, as with most of BOW AND BE SIMPLE, MC’s rendition of Baby Blue was recorded at Real Farm Studio on the island of Møn near Copenhagen. The album opens with the gently-paced title song, one man’s uncomplicated assessment of his attitude to faith. It’s time to come clean as, earlier, I deliberately omitted reference to the fifth and significant contributor to Harlan’s sophomore set, vocalist Rachel Jones. On Bow And Be Simple Rachel’s input on two of the four verses fits Harlan’s timbre like a glove, while on the ensuing Too Much Going On, Rachel solos on the second verse and shares the remaining pair. In terms of focus, the lyric finds the world weary narrator reflecting upon his life journey. Before I move on I should mention that in the final verse of Bow And Be Simple, Matt tips a nod to Rod Picott with mention of ‘angels or acrobats.’ Pushing the pedal to the metal, Darker Shade Of Grey Matt cranks up the pace significantly while lyrically the narrator delivers a diatribe that hinges upon the insight: ‘Some say the world revolves around the slow pull of the sun, But I’m learning it’s the darker things that get the moving done.’ There’s a curiously raw and ghostly—doesn’t quite sound like him—edge to Matt’s voice on Simple Song, while sly, self-deprecating humour pervades the bookend chorus. The Ring witnesses domestic abuse colliding with deadly force, while the sonically eerie Elevator Ride, replete with the insight: ‘All day I’m chasing money like the cure for some disease,’ finds an office worker contemplating another day of ‘9 to 5’ drudgery set to the beat of capitalism’s drum. Three blue-collar characters ‘Mining the hard scrabble of this new decade’ weave personal contemplation upon the current economic downturn into the fabric of the sardonically titled The Easy Road, and album closes with the aforementioned Long Ride Home. A conventional love song, therein a traveller waxes tenderly: ‘You’re a ghost in every room that I sleep alone.’ (By Arthur Wood) - Maverick Magazine


Single "Come Friday" 2010 - feat. Sarah MacDougall

Album "Bow and be simple" 2012 w/ Matt Harlan

Album "The Sentimentals & friends" 2013 w/Jonathan Byrd, Ana Egge, Sarah MacDougall, Sam Baker, Dana Cooper and Matt Harlan



Danish backing band and folk music pioneers The Sentimentals follow up their collaboration with Houston's Matt Harlan on his dark folk milestone " Bow and be Simple" with an album featuring hard touring songwriters Jonathan Byrd, Ana Egge, Sarah MacDougall, Sam Baker, Dana Cooper and Matt Harlan.

Six songs have been recorded on both sides of the Atlantic already. The album resonates the Sentimentals´ less is more-approach to backing a songwriter and features a bunch of brand new songs written by the participating artists. The recordings took place in the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, in Copenhagen, New York City and in Chapel Hill NC. The album will be released in the summer of 2013.

The Sentimentals have toured both America and Europe with American, Canadian, Danish and Swedish artists since 2004. They had a residency at Mojo blues bar for four years backing up songwriters from all over the world travelling through Denmark. The album they recorded with Matt Harlan last year entered the Euro Americana Chart as number one and they are working on releasing a live album together with Matt Harlan too.

The Sentimentals on tour 2013:
Feb. 9th - 24th Scandinavia and Canada with Ana Egge
April 1st - 10th Scandinavia with Ed Romanoff
April 22nd - May 5th Scandinavia with Matt the Electrician
June 15th - July 5th Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, France with Matt Harlan
August 15th - Sep. 16th Scandinavia, Germany and Holland with Jonathan Byrd
Sep. 20th - 30th Scandinavia with Sam Baker

Past tours include Anthony da Costa, Sarah MacDougall, Vanessa Peters, Pat Huggins, Nell Bryden, Nathan Felix of the Noise Revival Orchestra and more than 20 Danish artists...

"The Sentimentals are support specialists. A helpline for songs. A secret weapon."
(Jonathan Byrd)

"Playing with a band like The Sentimentals is a rare experience. These fellows have hyper tuned their musical senses to serve the song in the leanest, most expressive way. When we play together I feel I can actually lean on them. Accomplished musicians, steadfast comrades,
bright, intuitive and completely down to earth. From ballads to rockers The Sentimentals are my go to guys."
(Dana Cooper)

"They're great musicians and such sweet fellows. They help create an earthy sweetness around the song that's so desireable."
(Ana Egge)