School of X
Fear of death. Some people are paralyzed by their fear of death. Rasmus Littauer, on the other hand, seems to become more productive in the face of it. Over the past few years, the man behind School of X has self-produced two breakout EPs, and toured the world with his solo project and as the drummer for MØ. Few can say to have accomplished so much. Yet, in the midst of this success, Littauer often feels his fear of death creeping up behind him.
After nearly a decade of living on the road and in the studio - and with no end in sight - he was coming to a stark realization: he could die before having a chance to live out his other dreams. Dreams like sailing the world, Littauer says. “I also imagine that I should experience having seven children, or living in Buenos Aires with a small bar serving coffee and beer.”
Although Littauer’s fear of death still follows closely behind him, it seems to be changing - taking a brighter, more hopeful form. On the heels of his emotional, brooding 2019 EP Destiny, School of X released his debut album Armlock on May 29, 2020.
The title for the album came to him in a taxi while sitting arm in arm with a friend in New York City, where the album was being mixed by Chris Tabron (Beyonce, The Strokes, Erykah Badu). His devotion to music, he realized, leaves no room for his dreams of sailing the world or owning a bohemian cafe in South America. He is trapped in an armlock, unable to pursue every dream. But at the same time, as he realized one late night in New York, his path has him locked arm in arm with the people that he loves.
Sonically, the self-produced Armlock could be said to fall somewhere in between School of X’s explosive 2017 debut EP Faded. Dream. and his more intimate Destiny. But as Littauer says of the album, “it also sounds like something entirely new.” This new sound comes in part from including more collaborations in the writing and recording process, staying true to the history of the School of X.
Littauer borrows his moniker from Copenhagen’s Eks-skolen (The Experimental Art School), which rose to prominence in the 1960’s for its collaborative and anti-establishment endeavor to break the barriers between high and low culture.
School of X embodies this ambition in more ways than one. He dreams of living a simple life in South America while playing at the Sydney Opera House. He is respected in Copenhagen’s local underground scene, while simultaneously accompanying one of Denmark’s biggest pop icons. And his writing masterfully toes the line between pop and experimental music to create a unique, singular style. To School of X, there is no ‘high’ culture. There is no ‘low’ culture. Every genre and every experience is just as valuable as the next.